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Americas

US poet and songwriter Gil Scott-Heron dies at 62

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Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2011-05-28

American poet and songwriter Gil Scott-Heron has died at a New York hospital aged 62. Scott-Heron rose to fame in the 1970s for his compelling spoken-word performances such as "The Revolution Will Not be Televised".

REUTERS - Gil Scott-Heron, a U.S. poet and songwriter credited with helping inspire the development of rap music, has died at age 62, according to media reports on Saturday.

Scott-Heron died on Friday at a New York hospital, National Public Radio said, citing his book publisher. He fell ill after returning from a trip to Europe, news reports said.
 
The Chicago-born artist was called the “Godfather of Rap”, a term he disliked, for his groundbreaking spoken-word performances set to music, including “The Revolution Will Not be Televised” in the early 1970s.
 
He recorded more than a dozen albums and was hailed as an important influence by hip-hop performers such as Kanye West.  Considered a voice of African-American activism, Scott-Heron was also a musical critic of apartheid and nuclear power.
 
After serving a prison sentence for drug possession, Scott-Heron released an acclaimed album last year, “I’m New Here”.

 

 

Photo: Mikael Altemark

Date created : 2011-05-28

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