Coolio at Celtic Park: did the rapper support Glasgow football team - link with MSP Tommy Sheridan explained

Coolio found himself a fan of the Scottish football team through politician Tommy Sheridan

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Coolio, the rapper behind the 1990s smash song ‘Gangsta’s Paradise,’ has died at the age of 59.

The US rapper, whose real name was Artis Leon Ivey Jr, died on Wednesday (28 September), according to his management, who confirmed the death to numerous US media sources.

Born in Pennsylvania, the rapper eventually relocated to Compton, California, where he recorded his first single in 1987.

But the hip-hop star’s ‘Gangsta’s Paradise,’ which he recorded for the 1995 film Dangerous Minds starring Michelle Pfeiffer, went on to become one of the most successful rap songs of all time.

Coolio received the Grammy award for best rap solo performance in 1996 after the song topped the Billboard Hot 100 for three weeks.

But one of the more surprising aspects of Coolio’s personality was his love for Scotland, particularly Glasgow and the Celtic football team.

How did this unlikely combination come about?

Here is everything you need to know.

Did Coolio support Celtic?

Coolio finished third in the sixth series of UK Celebrity Big Brother in 2009, losing to runner-up broadcaster Terry Christian and eventual winner, presenter and model Ulrika Jonsson.

But he spent his time in the Big Brother house with Tommy Sheridan, a Scottish politician and well-known Celtic devotee, and the two became unexpected friends - Coolio once said in an interview, “I will probably go to his house for dinner when I come to Scotland.”

Almost a decade later, the former MSP brought Coolio along to a match at Celtic Park stadium, when the rapper was on tour in the UK late-2017.

Sheridan tweeted him asking if he wanted to see the Celtic vs. Hibs game, and Coolio sent out a call on social media just a day before the match, asking if anyone had two tickets available for the sold-out game. Luckily, one Celtic supporter had a couple of spares.

On the day of the game, Coolio was spotted outside the ground taking photos with delighted fans. And at half-time, he raised smiles again as he drew the raffle in a Celtic scarf from the centre circle, soaking up the atmosphere as he greeted fans around the pitch.

The rapper then appeared in a bizarre interview on Celtic TV with broadcaster Gerry McCulloch and ex-Hoops defender Mark Wilson.

"I brought the Gangsta’s Paradise to the real Paradise!” he explained. "The Celtic Paradise - Hail Hail! My boy Tommy man, he’s been telling me about Celtic for years. I’m a fan through him and I wanted to come and see it for myself."

Coolio closed the interview by shouting "Hail Hail" down the camera after a brief discussion about his music.

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