Home Music Gil Scott-Heron, Legendary Musician and Poet, Dead at 62

Gil Scott-Heron is dead at 62, probably of something connected to drugs. It’s very sad. He passed away yesterday in New York after reportedly not feeling well following his return from Europe. Scott-Heron had struggled with drugs, and spent time in prison and rehab according to reports. But he was so much more than that. Before rap and hip hop, Scott-Heron invented a new genre of soul with his spoken word “songs.” He probably invented rap. “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised” was his seminal work, but he went on to create a vibrant library of songs all through the 1970s. I remember seeing him in the summer of 1977 at Pall’s Mall in Boston, a basement jazz club on Boylston Street. He was the shit. Gil Scott-Heron released four independent albums from 1970 to 1974 including his first, and seminal, “Small Talk at 125th and Lenox,” in 1970. But starting in 1975, he put out nine albums in a row with — guess who?– Clive Davis, at the same time Clive was releasing Patti Smith’s work on Arista. RIP, Gil Scott Heron. The video for “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised” is in the video player below.

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