and remix artist, who has gained fame both as solo act and as a member of the
Londonbased band The xx.
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. His collaborative efforts with musician Brian
Jackson featured a musical fusion of jazz, blues, and soul, as well as lyrical
content concerning social and political issues of the time, delivered in both
rapping and melismatic vocal styles by Scott-Heron. His own term for himself was
"bluesologist", which he defined as "a scientist who is concerned with the
origin of the blues." His music, most notably on Pieces 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. Besides
influencing contemporary musicians, Scott-Heron remained active until his
death, and in 2010 released his first new album in 16 years, entitled I'm New
Here. A memoir he had been working on for years up to the time of his death,
"The Last Holiday", was also published, posthumously in January 2012.
His recording work received much critical acclaim, especially one of his best-known
compositions "The Revolution Will Not Be Televised". His poetic style has influenced every generation of hip hop.