Michelle Pfeiffer, one of the most prolific actresses of the 1980s and 1990s, has paid respect to Coolio as a “gracious man,” saying that his song “Gangsta’s Paradise” was instrumental in the success of her film Dangerous Minds.
On Wednesday (September 28), at the age of 59, Coolio was discovered dead on the bathroom floor of a friend’s residence. Although the official cause of death has not been disclosed, initial reports indicate that paramedics believe he died of heart arrest.
Michelle Pfeiffer has added her voice to the many who have paid tribute to Coolio, whose career briefly overlapped with hers and produced box office and sales chart explosions over the world.
We are deeply saddened by the news of Coolio’s demise. She laments on social media that “a life cut much too short.”
Some of you may remember that in 1995 I had the privilege of working with him on the film Dangerous Minds. I truly believe that the success of our picture can be attributed to his Grammy-winning song from the film’s soundtrack. His manners were always very courteous. Even after 30 years, that song still gives me shivers.
The song has an impact on more than just her. The official “Gangsta’s Paradise” music video hit one billion views on YouTube in July of this year.
Pfeiffer won the award for best rap video at the 1995 MTV Video Music Awards, appearing in the clip as her Dangerous Minds character, Louanne Johnson.
Of Coolio’s six Top 100 singles, this one went on to win both the Billboard Music Award for a single of the year and the Grammy Award for best rap solo performance.
The track spent a total of 62 weeks on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, including 3 at No. 1, and 11 weeks at No. 1 on Billboard’s Hot Rap Songs survey, making it the best-selling single of the year and surpassing Stevie Wonder’s “Pastime Paradise” from 1976.
IMDB reports that the budget for Dangerous Minds was roughly $22 million and that the film made over $179 million worldwide. The film follows Johnson, a former Marine who is now teaching at a challenging inner-city school.
With “love and light,” Pfeiffer says goodbye to his loved ones. Artis Leon Ivey Jr., may your power rest in peace.