Following his death in September at age 59, Coolio’s official cause of death is fentanyl, Billboard can confirm.
The family’s spokesperson Jarel Posey told TMZ, who first reported the news, that Coolio also had traces of heroin and methamphetamines in his system, and had a history of severe asthma and cigarette smoking, which “played a factor in his death and his body’s inability to fight back.”
The “Gangsta’s Paradise” rapper, born Artis Leon Ivey Jr. was found dead on the bathroom floor at his friend’s house on September 28, according to initial reports at the time of his death. At the time, paramedics suspected that Coolio suffered a cardiac arrest.
Coolio placed six hits on the Billboard Hot 100 songs chart, including the No. 1 smash “Gangsta’s Paradise,” featuring L.V, from the film Dangerous Minds. The single spent three weeks atop the list in 1995 and finished as the year-end No. 1 song on the Hot 100. It also ruled the Hot Rap Songs list for 11 consecutive weeks. The track would go on to win the Billboard Music Award for single of the year, and a Grammy Award for best rap solo performance. In 2021, “Gangsta’s Paradise” ranked among the 100 Greatest of All Time Hot 100 Songs.
In March, the first single from the star’s posthumous album was released. “TAG ‘You It,’” which features legendary West Coast MC Too $hort, previewed the full-length LP, LONG LIVE COOLIO, which does not yet have an official release date.
According to a statement announcing the project, the first single from rapper’s follow-up to 2009’s From the Bottom 2 the Top was produced by and also features the rapper’s longtime friend DJ Wino.