Coolio Was Booked to Headline October Las Vegas Residency

Rapper Coolio was set to headline his first Las Vegas residency this month, according to TMZ. When he died last week at age 59, Coolio was finalizing the details with local production company Fan Rebellion to headline “Boombox” at the Westgate.

Coolio performs during the “I Love The 90s” tour on Aug. 7 in Aurora, Ill. The rapper was to begin headlining a Vegas residency in late October. (Image:

The show is a multiple-billing featuring ’80s and ’90s hip-hop stars. Boombox is hosted by rap duo Kid ’N Play and previously featured headliners CeeLo Green and Tone Loc.

Jimmy Maynes, the company’s chief creative officer, told TMZ Coolio’s headlining stint was set to launch in late October and cover 10 shows in 10 days. As the show’s headliner, Coolio would have had to perform only three songs: “Gangsta’s Paradise,” “1,2,3,4,” and “C U When U Get There.” Maynes told TMZ Coolio wanted to feature backup dancers, a two-story video screen, and three outfit changes.

Rap Sheet

Coolio, real name Artis Leon Ivey Jr., came up on the LA rap scene in the late ’80s. His career took off with the 1994 release of “It Takes a Thief,” his debut album on Tommy Boy Records. Its opening track, “Fantastic Voyage,” reached No. 3 on the Billboard Hot 100.

A year later, his “Gangsta’s Paradise” single topped the charts when it appeared on the soundtrack of the Michelle Pfeiffer film, “Dangerous Minds.” Coolio won a Grammy in 1996 for the song, which sampled Stevie Wonder’s 1976 song “Pastime Paradise.” This July, its video reached a milestone: one billion views on YouTube.

It’s one of those kinds of songs that transcends generations,” Coolio said in a recent interview with Virgin Media Television. “I didn’t use any trendy words. I think it made it timeless.”

Coolio is also known to millennials for his work on the theme song for the Nickelodeon TV series “Kenan and Kel,” and his contribution to the album “Dexter’s Laboratory: The Hip-Hop Experiment.”

Untimely Death

On September 28, the rapper, who lived in Las Vegas, was found unresponsive in the bathroom of a friend’s house in downtown LA. Paramedics attempted 45 minutes of CPR before pronouncing him dead.

No drugs or drug paraphernalia were found at the scene, and no foul play was suspected. An autopsy didn’t reveal the cause of Coolio’s death, though an investigation is still ongoing, according to the county coroner.

Coolio’s last performance was with the “I Love the 90s” tour with Vanilla Ice on September 23 in Cypress, Tex.

When Boombox returns in December, it will incorporate a Coolio tribute in every show – similar to what the show has done for Biz Markie.

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