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Gil Scott Heron dies aged 62

Soul, jazz, blues and all round music legend Gil Scott-Heron has died in his home town of New York at the age of 62, shortly after falling ill after returning from a trip to Europe.

Scott-Heron, who was considered massively influential in the birth of hip-hop, had been recording music since 1970, and was one of the first music artists to speak out about South African apartheid; his hit song ‘Johannesburg’ being one of the most explicit examples. However his last album – last year’s ‘I’m New Here’ – was critically acclaimed, and he was well received at his festival appearances, seemingly all set for Indian Summer in his career.

He also struggled with drug addiction throughout his life, and didn’t shy away from writing about it: ‘Home Is Where The Hatred Is’ dealt with his heroin addiction in the most explicit terms (‘you keep saying; 'kick it, quit it, kick it, quit it', but God did you ever try?’)

‘RIP GSH..and we do what we do and how we do because of you,’ wrote Public Enemy main an Chuck D. ‘And to those that don't know tip your hat with a hand over your heart & recognize.

‘Quite stunned at the fact I just wrote and recorded guest vocals on one of his next albums.This makes one realize that time is precious, damn.’

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