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

After decades of influencing everyone from jazz musicians to hip-hop stars, Pieces Of A Man set a standard for vocal artistry and political awareness that few musicians will ever match. ~ Allmusic: Album Review Pieces Of A Man ~ retrieved June 15, 2013 © Allmusic

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May 27, 1972 ~ Billboard Hot 100 ~ #3 (1) Roberta Flack, The First Time I Ever I Saw Your Face ~ #2 (3) The Staple Singers, I'll Take You There ~ #1 (2) The Chi-Lites. Oh Girl


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

Born in Chicago but transplanted to Tennessee for his early years, Scott-Heron spent most of his high-school years in the Bronx, where he learned firsthand many of the experiences that later made up his songwriting material. He had begun writing before reaching his teenage years, however, and completed his first volume of poetry at the age of 13. Though he attended college in Pennsylvania, he dropped out after one year to concentrate on his writing career and earned plaudits for his novel, The Vulture. ~ Allmusic: Gil Scott-Heron ~ retrieved March 28, 2014 © Allmusic

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

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