Gil Scott-Heron Dead at 62

Gil Scott-Heron, whose combination of poetry and music influenced hip-hop and rap, among other music genre, has died. He was 62.

A publicist told CNN that the spoken-word legend passed away on Friday at a New York hospital. However, publicist Lisa Gottheil of XL Recordings, which released Scott-Heron’s 2010 album, I’m New Here, declined to reveal the cause of death of the recognized “godfather of rap.” The Associated Press reported that Scott-Heron was brought to St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital Center after he became sick upon his return to the United States from Europe.

Scott-Heron had previously admitted in a 2008 interview with New York magazine that he was suffering from HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. He was also known to be addicted to cocaine, a substance that ultimately caused him to land in jail in 2001 and 2007. Scott-Heron was best known for his 1970 song “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised,” which was released when he was only 18.