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Gil Scott-Heron

Jazz Poet, Musician, and Author

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Brian Jackson, Ron Holloway, Malik & the O.G's, Jamie xx, Musicians United for Safe Energy, Artists United Against Apartheid, Blackalicious, Black and Blues

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 1980s. 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.

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 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". Gil Scott-Heron received a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2012. He also is included in the exhibits at the National Museum of African American History and Culture that officially opened on Sept. 24, 2016 on the National Mall, and in an NMAAHC publication, Dream a World Anew. During the museum's opening ceremonies, the Sylvan Theater on the monument grounds was temporarily named the Gil Scott-Heron stage. For more information and updates on how Gil's legacy is being promoted, visit the website

Last Updated: January 22, 2017

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This page uses material from the Wikipedia article "Gil Scott-Heron" (contributors), which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.