(April 1, 1949 – May 27, 2011)
Widely considered as one of the forefathers and greatest influences to the world of Hip-Hop with his poetry that had the backings of African drumming, Soul, Jazz, Blues and Funk. His own term for himself was "bluesologist", which he defined as "a scientist who is concerned with the origin of the blues." His best known composition that is considered a critically acclaimed classic is The Revolution Will Not Be Televised. His works with multi-instrumentalist Brian Jackson include Free Will, Pieces of A Man and Winter In America, also gained heavy notoriety and considered classics by many.
Scott-Heron remained active until his death, and in 2010 released his first new album in 16 years, entitled I'm New Here. "The Last Holiday", was also published, posthumously in January 2012.
(April 2, 1939 – April 1, 1984)
Starting his career as a "doo-wop" artist, he later became a session drummer for Motown Records, before becoming the top selling solo artist of Tamla, a Motown subsidiary. He was crowned the "Prince of Motown" and also the "Prince of Soul". His work in the early and mid-1970s included the albums, What's Going On, Let's Get It On, and I Want You, which helped influence the quiet storm, urban adult contemporary, and slow jam genres. Here, My Dear, In Our Lifetime and Midnight Love would all be heavy influences for the more modern soul sound.
In 1982, during an interview for New Musical Express magazine, he's quoted as saying:
"I don't make records for pleasure. I did when I was a younger artist, but I don't today. I record so that I can feed people what they need, what they feel. Hopefully, I record so that I can help someone overcome a bad time."