Coolio’s untimely death and the life expectancy of Black male celebrities

Early mortality is in the spotlight again
Coolio's untimely death and the life expectancy of Black male celebrities

The untimely death of rapper Coolio at 59 sparked up a larger conversation when physician Oni Blackstock tweeted a list of Black celebs who died at relatively young ages. The doctor tweeted a short list of some of the Black male figures in hip-hop who have died since 2020. The list includes DMX at 50, Black Rob at 57, Biz Markie at 57 and Shock G at 57.

The list didn’t include MF DOOM, who died at 49, or Black male celebrities outside of hip-hop like movie director John Singleton, who died at 51 in 2019; singer Jesse Powell, who died at 51; comedian David A. Arnold, who died at 54; actor Chadwick Boseman, who died at 43; actor Michael K. Williams, who died at 54; designer Virgil Abloh, who died at 41; and internet personality Kevin Samuels, who died at 57.

According to the CDC, in 2020, Black men had a life expectancy of 68.3 years, the lowest of any demographic. Heart disease is the No. 1 killer of Black men, and according to a 2021 CDC study, the condition accounted for 24.1%  of the fatalities. Cancer comes in at 19.7%, Alzheimer’s Disease at 7.9%, stroke at 5% and homicide rounded out the top five at 4.5%.

The most common cause of heart disease is a buildup of fatty plaques in the arteries, according to the Mayo Clinic. Risk factors of heart disease include a poor diet, lack of exercise, obesity and smoking. Healthy lifestyle choices can help lower the risk of heart disease.

Join our Newsletter

Sign up for Rolling Out news straight to your inbox.

Read more about:
Also read
What's new