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Influential Jazz Singer and Poet Gil Scott-Heron Dies

Composer of "The Revolution Will Not Be Televised" and other classic recordings was 62

Gil Scott-Heron
Gil Scott-Heron (photo: Charles Wainwright)

CNN reports that singer/poet/composer Gil Scott-Heron died on Friday afternoon. The cause of death has not been released. He was 62.

With his unique blend of spoken word, political activism and jazz underpinnings, the singer was a major influence on several generations of jazz and rap performers. Among the songs that resonated with audiences and fellow artists were: “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised,” “Whitey’s on the Moon,” “Johannesburg,” and “The Bottle.” The singer battled with substance abuse issues throughout much of his life and often referred to his difficulties in his songs and performances. According to an extensive New Yorker profile of Scott-Heron, he also was HIV-positive.

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