Late rapper Coolio (real name: Artis Leon Ivey Jr.) built a strong legacy and huge net worth after rising to fame in the 1990s for hits such as “Gangsta’s Paradise” and “Fantastic Voyage.” From his Grammy Award days to exploring other business ventures, fans of the former Los Angeles resident were heartbroken when they learned of his sudden death in September 2022 at the age of 59. 

Keep reading to find out how Coolio made his money. 

What Was Coolio’s Net Worth?

Before he passed, Coolio amassed a solid net worth of $1.5 million, according to Celebrity Net Worth

How Did Coolio Make His Money?

Thanks to his longtime rap career, Coolio amassed most of his fortune through the music industry. However, he also acquired a portion of it by guest starring in a Lew of films and television shows. 

In 1987, Coolio recorded and released his first single, “Whatcha Gonna Do?” By 1991, he joined the hip hop group WC and the Maad Circle and contributed to their debut album Ain’t a Damn Thang Changed

Three years later, the East Coast native released his own debut album It Takes a Thief. Its single “Fantastic Voyage” was widely circulated by MTV, leading it to peak at No. 3 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1994. Coolio’s first album was later certified platinum, and its hit track became one of the most popular rap singles of 1994. 

Coolio Dead
Larry Marano/Shutterstock

The following year, the “County Line” singer released one of his most successful hits “Gangsta’s Paradise” for the movie Dangerous Minds. The song became the most famous single in the U.S. and topped the charts in multiple countries, from the United Kingdom to Australia. Coolio then won his first Grammy Award in 1996 for Best Rap Solo Performance. 

As his music career gradually climbed in the late ‘90s, Coolio was featured in countless films and television shows. Among his most noteworthy movie appearances included 1997’s Batman & Robin, 2001’s In Pursuit, 2004’s Dracula 3000 and 2007’s Three Days to Vegas

On TV, Coolio guest starred on Kenan & Kel as he performed its theme song, The NannyFuturama and Charmed

The American Music Awards winner went on to star in a slew of more films and TV projects through 2021. 

In 2008, Coolio took up a different venture aside from music: cooking. He released his web series Cookin’ With Coolio as well as his book under the same title in 2009. 

What Was Coolio’s Job Before He Became Famous?

Born in Pennsylvania on August 1, 1963, Coolio moved to Compton, California, when he was growing up. He later attended Compton Community College after high school following years of becoming an avid reader at home. 

During college, Coolio performed in various rap contests under the name “Coolio Iglesias,” which led to being featured on local rap radio station KDAY. 

To support himself, the “High ‘Em High” artist worked various jobs, including as a volunteer firefighter and security at Los Angeles International Airport. 

Coolio Was Found Dead in September 2022

On September 28, 2022, the “I Remember” artist was found dead in the bathroom of his friend’s L.A. home, his manager, Jarez Posey, told TMZ that day. 

His rep, Sheila Finegan, also confirmed the news to In Touch in a statement. 

“We are saddened by the loss of our dear friend and client, Coolio, who passed away this afternoon,” the rep said in her 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.”

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