Extremely sad, and surprising news: Gil Scott-Heron has died, aged 62.

Details are scarce at this point, but his UK publisher Jamie Byng released a statement last night, saying “Just heard the very sad news that my dear friend and one of the most inspiring people I’ve ever met, the great Gil Scott-Heron, died today.” Heron died in a New York hospital.

Considered by many the Godfather of hip-hop for his spoken word work, Scott-Heron has struggled throughout his life with drugs, but last year released his first studio album for 16 years, I’m New Here. He remains one of the most influential figures in black music, and one of the most sampled artists in hip-hop’s history.


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