Born Artis Leon Ivey, Jr. in Pennsylvania, Coolio is a rap artist and musician who has parallel careers in both acting and record production. He began recording singles in the late 1980's, but it was his 1994 debut album, It Takes a Thief, that provided the hit single that would thrust him into the American music charts. Reaching No. 8 on the Billboard Hot 200 charts, "Fantastic Voyage" began Coolio's climb toward mainstream success. In 1995, he recorded the hit single "Gangsta's Paradise" for the soundtrack of the movie Dangerous Minds. This song quickly became one of the most successful rap songs of all time, reaching and staying at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for three, straight weeks. It also reached No.1 on music charts in twelve other countries. He has released no less than eight albums worldwide and has made appearances in numerous films and television shows. Coolio has been nominated for and won a series of awards, including the American Music Award, the Grammy Award and the MTV Video Music Award.
Coolio is an iconic rap artist whose music has spanned the formation of the gangsta rap genre. His hard-hitting lyrics and unique vocal sound continues to move audiences around the globe. With tour dates set across the US and Europe, Coolio is a must-see for rap enthusiasts.