Friday, September 30, 2011

RIP Sylvia Robinson, The Mother of Hip Hop

The New York Times reports:
Sylvia Robinson, a singer, songwriter and record producer who formed the pioneering hip-hop group Sugarhill Gang and made the first commercially successful rap recording with them, died on Thursday in Edison, N.J. She was 75.

She had been in a coma at the New Jersey Institute of Neuroscience and died there of congestive heart failure, a family spokeswoman said. Ms. Robinson lived in Englewood, N.J.

Ms. Robinson had a successful career as a rhythm and blues singer long before she and her husband, Joe Robinson, formed Sugar Hill Records in the 1970s and went on to serve as the midwives for a musical genre that came to dominate pop music.

She sang with Mickey Baker as part of the duo Mickey & Sylvia in the 1950s and had several hits, including “Love Is Strange,” a No. 1 R&B song in 1957. She also had a solo hit, under the name Sylvia, in the spring of 1973 with her sultry and sexually charged song “Pillow Talk.”


Read more here.