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Coolio died of an accidental fentanyl overdose, coroner's report shows

Coolio performs at Groovin The Moo in 2019 in Australia.
Tracey Nearmy/Getty Images
Coolio performs at Groovin The Moo in 2019 in Australia.

The rapper Coolio died of an accidental fentanyl overdose, documents from the Los Angeles County coroner's office show.

Coolio died on Sept. 28, 2022, at a friend's home in Los Angeles. The coroner's report listed the primary cause of the 59-year-old's death as the "effects of fentanyl, heroin and methamphetamine" and ruled his death "accidental."

Coolio, whose legal name was Artis Ivey Jr., grew up in Compton, Calif. He started rapping at 15 and became one of hip-hop's biggest names in the 1990s, with hits like the Grammy-winning, chart-topping "Gangsta's Paradise" shooting him to the height of his popularity.

Coolio's 1994 debut album It Takes a Thief kicked off his meteoric rise. "Fantastic Voyage," the album's opening track, reached No. 3 on the Billboard Hot 100.

The coroner's report also listed "other specific conditions" including asthma, cardiomyopathy and phencyclidine use.

Cardiomyopathy refers to a range of problems with the heart muscle that make it more difficult to pump blood, according to the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute. It can cause heart failure and heart attacks.

Phencyclidine, originally developed as an anesthetic for delivery through an IV, is better known as PCP. It was later discontinued because patients experienced "postoperative delirium with hallucinations," but is used today as a recreational drug for its mind-altering effects, according to the Department of Justice.

Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Kaitlyn Radde
Kaitlyn Radde is an intern for the Graphics and Digital News desks, where she has covered everything from the midterm elections to child labor. Before coming to NPR, she covered education data at Chalkbeat and contributed data analysis to USA TODAY coverage of Black political representation and NCAA finances. She is a graduate of Indiana University.
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