Singer, rapper, Gil Scott-Heron
birth name: Gilbert Scott-Heron

Gil Scott-Heron

April 1, 1949, Chicago, IL ~ May 27, 2011, New York, NY

Mr. Scott-Heron was sometimes referred to as the Godfather of Rap, a title he rejected. “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,” he wrote in the introduction to his 1990 collection of poems, Now And Then. ~ New York Times: Gil Scott-Heron Obituary ~ May 28, 2011 © New York Times

A composer, musician, poet and author whose writings and recordings provided a vivid, and often stinging, commentary on social injustice and the black American experience; his declamatory singing style, allied to the overtly political content of his work, made him widely recognised as one of the inspirational figures of rap music. ~ The Telegraph: Gil Scott-Heron Obituary ~ May 28, 2011 © The Telegraph

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April 1, 1961 ~ Billboard Hot 100 ~ #3 (5) The Shirelles, Dedicated To The One I Love ~ #2 (2) Chubby Checker, Pony Time ~ #1 (1) Elvis Presley with the Jordanaires, Surrender


Mixing his unique, highly politicized, and verbally complex poetry with minimal percussion in the early 1970s, and developing a speaking/singing soul-jazz form he christened “bluesology,” performer Gil Scott-Heron has been widely credited with helping to invent rap. The title of Scott-Heron's best-known piece, The Revolution Will Not Be Televised has become a pop catchphrase, and his evolving activism would influence several highly regarded albums before he took a long hiatus; it was almost a decade before Scott-Heron released a new album to an eager public in 1994. By this time the legacy of his career was apparent; many of the most ambitious young rap and hip-hop artists have laid claim to Scott-Heron as a crucial influence. ~ Musicianguide: Gil Scott-Heron ~ retrieved March 29, 2014 © Musicianguide

Scott-Heron took a lengthy hiatus in the 1980s before making a comeback in 1994 with Spirits. He took another long break before releasing 2010's I'm New Here, his first new album in 16 years. He also published five books of poetry and musings over the years, while he was thought to be putting the final touches to his next book, The Last Holiday, at the time of his death. ~ Toronto Sun: Gil Scott-Heron Obituary ~ May 28, 2011 © Toronto Sun

Gill Scott-Heron ~ Awarded a 2012 Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.

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