Gil Scott-Heron. 1949-2011

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Poet and musician Gil Scott-Heron passed away late Friday afternoon.

He was a too-young 62, though that voice and soul remain as vibrant as ever. The passing was confirmed by Scott-Heron’s publishing and label partners.

Scott-Heron is probably best known for “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised,” though he is also credited for influencing a range of musical genres, including hip-hop.  This was a diverse and talented artist, one with an unmistakable voice and impact.  That influence stretches into the modern era, with Kanye West outwardly acknowledging his influence.

Scott-Heron was born in Chicago, spent part of his youth in Tennessee, but landed in the Bronx as a teenager.  His greatest impact came in the 70s and 80s, and he often tackled tough issues of the era.  There were small public reappearances in subsequent decades, though the 2000s featured some unfortunate struggles with substance abuse and resulting periods of incarceration.

The past decade also featured occasional collaborations, including one with Blackalicious.  Scott-Heron also released an album, I’m New Here, in 2010.