Poet-musician Gil Scott-Heron, a key influence on hip-hop, died Friday at the age of 62. He was best known for the spoken-word piece “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised.” Born in Chicago in 1949, Scott-Heron’s recording career began with the 1970 album Small Talk at 125th and Lenox, which featured the first version of “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised.” He continued to record through the ‘70s and early ’80s, but in later years he struggled with substance abuse and spent the early part of the 2000s in and out of jail. He began performing again after his 2007 release, and issued an album in 2010 called I’m New Here. Scott-Heron’s influence on the hip-hop community was never in question, though; Kanye West built a track on My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy around a sample of Scott-Heron’s voice.
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