Coolio(Artis Ivey, Jr.)
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California
Rap artist whose poignant and often explicit lyrics express ideas about family, respect, love, AIDS and revolution. After getting his start in the South Central Los Angeles rap scene during the early 1980s, he signed with Tommy Boy Records (1993). The debut release, It Takes a Thief (1994), went platinum. His song “Gangsta's Paradise,” was the best-selling single of 1995 and won him a Grammy Award for Best Rap Solo Performance. In 1997 he released My Soul (1997). In 1998 he was convicted of accessory to robbery in Germany and received a $17,000 fine and six months probation. He has six children, two with wife Josefa Salinas, whom he married in 1996.
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