Gilbert “Gil” Scott-Heron (April 1, 1949 – May 27, 2011) was an American soul and jazz poet, musician, and author known primarily for his work as a spoken word performer in the 1970s and ’80s, and for his collaborative soul works with musician Brian Jackson. His collaborative efforts with Jackson featured a musical fusion of jazz, blues and soul music, as well as lyrical content concerning social and political issues of the time, delivered in both rapping and melismatic vocal styles by Scott-Heron. The music of these albums, most notablyPieces of a Man and Winter in America in the early 1970s, influenced and helped engender later African-American music genres such as hip hop and neo soul.
Scott-Heron’s recording work has received much critical acclaim, especially for one of his most well-known compositions “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised“. His poetic style has been influential upon every generation of hip hop since his popularity began. In addition to being widely considered an influence in today’s music, Scott-Heron remained active until his death, and in 2010 released his first new album in 16 years, entitled I’m New Here.