Renowned American Musician and Poet Gil Scott-Heron Passes Away

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Gil Scott-Heron, often hailed as the Godfather of Rap, has succumbed at the age of 62 in a New York hospital. The exact cause of his death remains unclear, but it is suspected that he fell ill following his return from a European visit. Scott-Heron’s artistic repertoire spanned soul, jazz, blues, and spoken word, profoundly shaping the landscape of U.S. hip-hop and rap scenes in the 1970s. Infused with a robust political essence, one of his most iconic compositions was “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised.” Doris Nolan, a close friend of Scott-Heron, confirmed his passing at St Luke’s Hospital on Friday afternoon, expressing, “We’re all deeply affected,” in her statement to the Associated Press. Born in Chicago in 1949 to a former British football player, Scott-Heron grew up in Tennessee before making New York his home. A lasting creative partnership with pianist and flautist Brian Jackson, formed at Lincoln University, contributed to Scott-Heron being often dubbed the godfather of rap for his groundbreaking style that blended minimalist percussion with poetry. Despite this label, the artist himself disclaimed the title, stating in the introduction to his 1990 poetry collection, “Now and Then,” “If there was any individual initiative that I was responsible for, it might have been that there was music in certain poems of mine, with complete progression and repeating ‘hooks,’ which made them more like songs than just recitations with percussion.