Beloved rapper Coolio spoke about life as a grandfather to five grandchildren just six months before his death on 28 September.
The “Gangsta’s Paradise” rapper died aged 59 on Wednesday, his representatives confirmed to The Independent.
“We are saddened by the loss of our dear friend and client, Coolio, who passed away this afternoon,” they said in a statement. “He touched the world with the gift of his talent and will be missed profoundly.
“Thank you to everyone worldwide who has listened to his music and to everyone who has been reaching out regarding his passing. Please have Coolio’s loved ones in your thoughts and prayers.”
Coolio, real name Artis Leon Ivey Jr, was known for his 1995 Grammy Award-winning hit single “Gangsta’s Paradise”, his roles in The Parent ‘Hood and Futurama, and his web series Cookin’ with Coolio.
However, the rapper was also known for being a family man. In March, Coolio appeared on Australian talk show Today Extra, where he revealed that he is not only a father to ten children, but also has five grandchildren.
When asked by hosts Sylvia Jeffreys and David Campbell what his children think about his cooking show, Coolio replied, “They like it. ‘Daddy, can you cook this for me? Daddy, can you make that for me? Daddy do this for me.’ It hasn’t changed.”
“My kids are all grown-ups,” he added. “I have five grandchildren now.”
Hosts Jeffreys and Campbell were visibly surprised by the discovery, and asked whether his grandchildren were aware of his rap career. “They’re babies,” he said. “They haven’t figured it out yet.”
In May, the rapper gave a glimpse into his life as a grandfather when he brought his granddaughter Arya Ivey onto the court for the halftime show at the Connecticut Sun vs Las Vegas Aces WNBA game in Las Vegas.
Coolio shares four children with ex-wife Josefa Salinas: daughters Artisha, Brandi and Jackie, and son Artis. The rapper also has six other children from previous relationships: Grtis, Milan, Darius, Zhaneland, and twins Shayne and Kate.
Coolio and Salinas were married in 1996 and divorced in 2000. His reality show, Coolio’s Rules, focused on the musician’s life as a single father to his four oldest children in Los Angeles, but it only lasted six episodes.
Tributes poured in for Coolio following news of his death on Wednesday. Fellow rappers Snoop Dogg and Ice Cube took to social media to pay tribute to the rapper.
Snoop Dogg wrote: “Gangstas paradise. R I P.”
Ice Cube added: “This is sad news. I witness first hand this man’s grind to the top of the industry. Rest In Peace @Coolio.”
Michelle Pfeiffer also shared some thoughtful words about the rapper after news of his death. The actor starred in the 1995 Dangerous Minds, the film for which the rapper performed the hit song “Gangsta’s Paradise”.
“Heartbroken to hear of the passing of the gifted artist @coolio,” she wrote on Instagram, adding: “A life cut entirely too short.”
Pfeiffer continued: “Thirty years later I still get chills when I hear the song. Sending love and light to his family. Rest in Power, Artis Leon Ivey Jr.”