Coolio, the multi-talented Grammy Award winning and multi-platinum selling artist, composer and actor, is one of the most popular and successful rappers worldwide. His international hit song Fantastic Voyage was recently used in a national Pepsi ad that ran during the 2005 Super bowl, featuring P. Diddy, Carson Daly, Desperate Housewives star Eva Longoria and many more. To date, Coolio has sold over 27 million records globally and has performed in concerts to adoring fans in Africa, Israel, Russia, Japan, Thailand, Brazil, Australia, Turkey and throughout Europe. In the diversified hip hop industry, Coolio is one of the few rap artists who has been able to garner mainstream success and critical acclaim. The new LP entitled "The Return of the Gangsta" has proven once again that Coolio is a master at mixing what everyone wants into a marketable album.
Coolio teamed up with long time friend Snoop Dogg for the undeniable hit "Gansta Walk" The various mixes of the song allow for music fans from pop to straight clubbers to enjoy this magical mix of two of Hip Hops greatest performers. For the hard-core club junkie you find banging hits like "Keep on Dancin" and "Let it go". Those committed to the hardcore hip-hop lifestyle will bounce to the beats of "West Coast Anthem" and "Keep it Gangsta". Those looking for a little of that this is the real life according to Coolio will find the melodic "One Mo Night" a true lesson in life. A man who has died asking God to give him one more chance to go back and make his life right. No one but Coolio can deliver a philosophical message in a way that will grab you and have you singing the hook before you can even speak English! Coolio's moving performance of "ONE MORE NIGHT” appeared on the PRISM AWARDS televised special and there wasn't a dry eye in the house. Coolio was approached by the likes of James Woods who said "I don't listen to rap but I would buy your album for that song." One Mo Night is sure to be the "Gangsta Paradise" of the new millennium.
This multi-talented entertainer is also interested in giving back to the community and long ago joined forces with the Heritage Begins Within™ foundation on their innovative project entitled "EMBRACE YOUR RACE THE HUMAN RACE"™® This nationwide program will pair 10 schools in a unique program to help Americas children learn about each other and other children around the world. The program will culminate a massive project slated to debut during the Olympics of 2008. Coolio and the foundation have maintained a recording studio for several years that allows those finacialy unable to record demos to come in and have access to their dreams. It is Coolios dream to join forces with his current label and open a state of the art recording studio in his native Los Angeles and in his home away from home, Europe, for the very purpose of allowing people with dreams to reach their goals. Coolio won a Grammy Award in 1996 for Best Rap Performance, Solo, for his international hit single, GANGSTA'S PARADISE, which was also featured on the DANGEROUS MINDS soundtrack. That song, also nominated for a Grammy for Best Song of the Year, has sold over 4 million copies and was Billboard Magazine's number #1 single of 1995. Coolio has also won an American Music Award, 3 MTV Awards, 2 Nickelodeon Kids Choice Awards and a World Music Award. He has received 6 Grammy Award nominations (1994, 1995, 1996), 2 Billboard Music Awards (1994, 1996), 2 ASCAP Awards (1996, 1997), 3 MTV Video Awards (1996, 1997), 4 American Online Awards (1996) and was the Playboy Music Poll Winner in 1997.
Coolio's album, "EL COOL MAGNIFICO" was released in Europe on Jan 15 2003 and guest featured artists included hip-hop performer Miss Toi, country legend Kenny Rogers, Krazye Bone (Bone Thugs and Harmony), B- Real (Cypress Hill) and Daz (Dogg Pound).
Associated Press stated that, "Coolio returns to hip-hop with EL COOL MAGNIFICO, and every track on the disc is a winner." The New York Post praised the new album and and wrote that "EL COOL MAGNIFICO is excellent from top to bottom. There's humor here, as well as some ghetto wisdom and a musicality that will give this collection a reach beyond hip-hop." No stranger to the world of cartoons, Coolio recorded the single and music video "DEXTER (WHAT'S HIS NAME?)" for DEXTER'S LABORATORY: HOME BOY GENIUS-THE HIP-HOP EXPERIMENT. This is a creative and fun album featuring big-name, hip-hop artists, such as De La Soul and Will.I.AM of the Black Eyed Peas. The album features original, songs inspired by DEXTER'S LABORATORY, the top-rated, Emmy nominated Cartoon Network series. Cartoon Network is currently seen in over 80 million U.S. homes. Coolio was immortalized as a Claymation figure in the highly successful "Lipton Brisk" beverage commercials. His character appears with Elvis and the Godfather of Soul himself, James Brown in a comical sketch advertising the popular beverage.
Turning to the world of sports, Coolio recently performed in concert at the Olympics in Salt Lake City, for the athletes, VIP's and officials the night before opening ceremonies and performed at the Ice Village 2 nights later for extreme sports fans. Coolio enjoys snowboarding whenever he has some free time. Coolio has successfully made the transition from performer to actor and enjoys balancing both professions. He costars in the upcoming motion picture Retirement with Bill Cobb, Peter Falk, Charlie Murphy and Rip Torn. This movie will also feature a song from his upcoming LP. "Return of the Gangsta" Coolio has recorded songs for several motion pictures including: SPACE JAM, CLUELESS, THE BIG PAYBACK, PANTHER, NEW JERSEY DRIVE, THE JERKY BOYS, EDDIE, HALF BAKED and many more. He also composed the theme song for the popular TV series KENAN & KEL which is seen worldwide. In addition, Coolio performed in several concerts on USO tours for our troops, and performed for our troops in Europe at Christmas as a way of giving support to our armed forces. He performed for the troops on another series of USO tours to Kosovo and Bosnia during the 2002 holiday season.
Fans throughout Europe had the opportunity to attend the infamous European "The Night of the Proms" and witness Coolio's sold out concerts throughout Belgium, Holland, Germany and France late fall 2000. He performed several songs and was backed on stage by an 80-piece orchestra and 40- person choir. Coolio is embraced across the country and around the world because he gives music lovers what they want - a distinctive style, bouncin' beats and thought-provoking lyrics. His gold single C U WHEN U GET THERE, released on his third gold album, MY SOUL, was featured on the NOTHING TO LOSE gold soundtrack. Using a choir, violins and a 280 year- old piece of music (Pachebel's Canon in D), Coolio created a remarkable song that is both painfully melancholy and beautifully optimistic. C U WHEN U GET THERE was the first single in Tommy Boy's history to become gold in South Africa. His debut album, IT TAKES A THIEF released in 1994, sold over a million copies and went Platinum, as did the single, FANTASTIC VOYAGE, a utopian party anthem which was nominated for a Grammy Award, among other accolades. Coolio's second album, GANGSTA'S PARADISE, sold over 3 million copies in the U.S. alone and was a top selling album around the world. The song touched fans everywhere with its powerful message. Television fans enjoyed watching Coolio participate and win $50 thousand dollars on Fox TV's CELEBRITY BOOT CAMP. The 2 hour special aired on Sept. 30, 2002. Coolio competed against several celebrities in rigorous training exercises and had to deal with the tough stance of several drill sergeants. Coolio also participated on NBC-TV's CELEBRITY FEAR FACTOR, and as champion, won $50 thousand dollars. The money from both CELEBRITY BOOT CAMP AND CELEBRITY FEAR FACTOR benefited his charity, HERITAGE BEGINS WITHIN. Coolio enjoyed acting as a TV interviewer when he spoke with x-treme sports superstars, performers and actors at ESPN's ACTION SPORTS AND MUSIC AWARDS special that aired from Universal Studios in Los Angeles, CA. Coolio appeared on THE WEAKEST LINK on NBC-TV and gueststarred on CHARMED the popular WB TV series. In addition, he was featured on MTV'S FLIPPED special dealing with racism. You have also seen Coolio on VH1"s I love the 90's and the hit TV show "JOEY". He guest-starred on HBO's popular TV series ARLISS, and has appeared in the features BATMAN & ROBIN, DEAR GOD, PHAT BEACH, PATRICE JONES, THE BIG PAYBACK. He has a starring role in the upcoming movie TYRONE, playing 3 siblings - Tyrone, Jerome and their sister Sherone! Coolio recently co-starred in the feature film PERFUME with Paul Sorvino, Omar Epps, Jeff Goldblum, Carmen Elecktra and IN PURSUIT, with Daniel Baldwin and Claudia Schiffer and had cameo appearances in LEPRECHAUN IN THE HOOD, GETTING OVER ALICE and JUDGEMENT DAY. In addition, he has guest-starred, in dramatic roles, on the CBS-TV primetime series, EARLY EDITION and in the syndicated series EIGHTEEN WHEELS OF JUSTICE. He has also guest-starred on SPACE: ABOVE AND BEYOND, SABRINA, THE TEENAGE WITCH, THE NANNY, MARTIN, THE WATCHER, etc. He has appeared on POLITICALLY INCORRECT, HOLLYWOOD SQUARES, TURN BEN STEIN ON, PAJAMA PARTY, I'VE GOT A SECRET, THE MATCH GAME, TOM SNYDER and he received the 2nd highest score in the history of PICTIONARY! His voice appeared on the DUCKMAN episode, "Coolio Runnings."
Coolio continues to receive worldwide attention for his work as an entertainer and as a role model who continues to help young people through his role as Honorary Director of the Heritage Begins Within Foundation. His foundation will sponsor a nation-wide contest (in conjunction with a computer company) called HOW COOL IS YOUR SCHOOL. Students, teachers, parents and friends will be encouraged to write in and state why their school deserves a "Cool Computer Room." 20 schools will be selected to receive computers. The first contest took place in Honolulu, Hawaii and Coolio presented 15 computers to the winning school on March 23'01. Coolio is a strong believer in education and wants to provide computers to schools so students can fulfill their potential. As a celebrity spokesperson for the Asthma and Allergy Foundation, Coolio appeared at a press conference in Washington, D.C. with Surgeon General Dr. David Satcher, to launch a national campaign to educate teens with asthma and allergies and strongly recommend that they don't neglect taking their medication because it might look un-cool to their friends. He appeared at the annual convention in New York City in and spoke at a media luncheon and with children of all ages, to let them know that they can enjoy fruitful and productive lives if they take care of themselves and not forget to take their medicine. Coolio was honored by the Los Angeles Chapter of the Asthma and Allergy Foundation at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Beverly Hills, California. Coolio is an avid reader and is seldom found without a book in his hand or his traveling pack. He is currently featured in a poster promoting reading and literacy for the American Library Association. The poster will appear in schools and libraries nationwide for 5 years. A native of Compton, California, Coolio was born Artis Ivey, Jr. He worked for a year and a half as a firefighter with the California Department of Forestry to help overcome drug addiction, then returned to the Los Angeles rap scene and began his sensational composing, recording and producing career. Coolio resides in L.A. and has six children. In his spare time he is an avid snow boarder, golfer and video game master.