Saturday, May 28, 2011 2:44am ET by  
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Gil Scott-Heron dies at 62

Jazz/Soul artist and hip hop pioneer Gil Scott Heron has passed away aged 62 in New York City.

A friend, Doris C. Nolan, confirmed the news, saying that he died on Friday afternoon (May 27) at a hospital after falling ill upon returning from a European trip. The official cause of death has yet to be released.

Scott-Heron’s daring mix of political poetry with jazz, blues and soul in the late '60s and early '70s, is often recognized as an early form of hip hop – he has even been referred to as the ‘Godfather of Rap’.

His most well-known track , the spoken-word ‘The Revolution Will Not Be Televised’, was widely used in black power campaigns and influenced artists like Mos Def and Kanye West – who sampled the track on his recent hit album ‘My Beautiful Twisted Dark Fantasy’.

As the news broke, Twitter lit up with celebrity tributes to the legendary star, including Usher, who wrote: "I just learned of the loss of a very important poet...R.I.P. Gil Scott Heron. The revolution will be live!!"

Listen to Scott-Heron’s famous and influential track ‘The Revolution Will Not Be Televised’ here: