INTERNATIONAL rap star Coolio has turned a Westhoughton woman into an internet sensation after he cooked a three-course meal for her and her fellow student housemates.
Claudia Doherty, aged 21, could not believe her luck when the artist, who has sold more than 17 million albums worldwide, turned up at her home to make dinner for her and her seven pals.
The American rapper, who calls himself the Ghetto Gourmet because of his cooking skills, even missed a flight to Zurich to spend time entertaining his new friends.
Coolio, whose real name is Artis Leon Ivey Jr, performed at Preston’s Ships and Giggles and MACs Bar on Monday.
Miss Doherty, a law masters student at the University of Central Lancashire, and her friends went to the bar to watch him perform and were asked by bar staff, who recognised the group, if they wanted to go into the VIP area.
After hitting it off with the students Coolio told them he would cook them dinner — despite being due to fly out to Switzerland as part of his tour.
Miss Doherty, a former pupil at St Joseph’s High School in Horwich, said: “A couple of us went to work as we didn’t think he would come because he was supposed to be catching a flight. He came round and said he thought we were really cool people. We went to Tesco with him and people were recognising him.
“People from around the world have got in touch with us since. It’s crazy, I am just a girl from Bolton and this has happened. He was so down to earth, he could have been one of my housemates.”
Coolio, who has his own programme, Cookin’ with Coolio, made the students a Caprese salad, his special “chicken á la daaaamn”, and peach cobbler.
Miss Doherty said: “The dinner was amazing. It was the best meal we have had in ages — we are all students on a budget. He was a really nice man.”
To top the evening off they joined the singer for rendition of his hit, Gangsta’s Paradise. A video of their meeting on YouTube has had nearly one million hits.
Coolio left in the early hours of the morning to avoid missing his second flight.
The friends have now renamed their home Gangsta’s Paradise in tribute to their special visitor. They hope to keep in touch with the star via Skype.
Miss Doherty is no stranger with mixing with celebrities as she and her friends say Mark Wright, from The Only Way is Essex, was in Preston the previous week and they are hoping to befriend Jazzy Jeff, an American musician, when he visits the city next week.
Coolio has received awards for his music including a Grammy for Best Rap Solo Performance, Favourite Rap Artist and the American Music Awards and two MTV awards.