More terrible news for music icons, I’m afraid.
Sylvia was well known for being on the front lines during the birth of Hip-Hop and rap, and is often credited (with the rest of the Sugarhill gang) for having the first ever rap hit with Rapper’s Delight. Sylvia released her first album when she was only fourteen years old, and was soon snatched up by Columbia Records and paired with trumpet player Hot-Lips Page for several blues records, and later transferred to Savoy where she recorded with Little Sylvia. Robinson had several hits working with guitarist Mickey Baker under the name Mickey and Sylvia, and sang back-up with Ike and Tina Turner on It’s Gonna Turn Out Fine.
Sylvia worked a steady and successful career until the late 70′s when she joined Sugar Hill Records, with Rapper’s Delight reaching the number 4 spot on RnB charts and 36 on Pop. The hit was considered to be the first ever mainstream Rap hit, with the label going on to release a further 26 records that went gold.
I’m not trying to sum up the woman’s career, as I know I’ll never really do her justice. I just wanted to further remind people what a loss this is, especially when coupled with the recent passing of fellow legend Gil-Scott Heron.
Sylvia Robinson died Thursday in New York of heart failure, 75 years old.