RIP: Sylvia Robinson, Godmother Of Rap, Dead At 76

NEW YORK TIMES: Sylvia Robinson, the singer, songwriter and record producer who formed the Sugar Hill Gang and made the first commercially successful rap recording, died early Thursday morning at a hospital in New Jersey. She was 75. Ms. Robinson had a notable career as a rhythm and blues singer long before she and her husband, Joe Robinson, formed Sugar Hill Records in 1979 and served 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,” which was a No. 1 R&B song in 1956. She also had a solo hit, under the name Sylvia, in spring of 1973 with her own composition “Pillow Talk.” But Ms. Robinson was revered as “the mother of hip-hop” for her decision to record the nascent art form known as rapping, which had developed at clubs and dance parties in New York City in the 1970s. MORE

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