Gil Scott-Heron

Scott-Heron in 2010, by mikael altemark

Birth Name: Gilbert Scott-Heron

Date of Birth: April 1, 1949

Place of Birth: Chicago, Illinois, U.S.

Date of Death: May 27, 2011

Place of Death: New York City, New York, U.S.

*African-Jamaican (father)
*African-American (mother)

Gil Scott-Heron was an American soul and jazz poet, musician, and author. He is known for the spoken word works he produced during the 1970s and 1980s. He had a significant influence on hip hop and neo soul. He collaborated with artists such as Blackalicious, while his spoken word has been sampled by Kanye West, Common, Black Star (Mos Def, Talib Kweli), and Grand Puba, among others.

His father, Gil Heron (Gilbert Saint Elmo Heron), was born in Kingston, Jamaica. He was a professional footballer, known as “The Black Arrow,” and the first black player to play for Scottish club Celtic. His mother, Bobbie Scott, was an opera singer, who performed with the Oratorio Society of New York. She was African-American. Gil was raised partly by his maternal grandmother in Jackson, Tennessee, and by his mother in The Bronx, New York City.

Gil had four children, including a daughter with his former partner Pat Kelly; a son with his former partner, author, journalist, and publicist Lurma Rackley; and a daughter with his former wife, actress Brenda Sykes.

His nephew, Terrance Kelly, also known as Mr. Cheeks, is an actor and rapper, who was a member of hip hop group Lost Boyz.

Gil’s paternal grandfather was named Walter Gilbert Heron.

Gil’s paternal grandmother was named Lucille Gentles.

Gil’s maternal grandmother was named Lillie Scott.


Curious about ethnicity

3 Responses

  1. Akwaba says:

    His mother, Bobbie Scott was an opera singer, and his father, Gil Heron, was the first black footballer to play for the Celtic Glasgow :

    His paternal grandparents were named Walter Gilbert Heron and Lucille Gentles.
    His maternal grandmother was named Lillie Scott.

  2. Jeri says:

    I loved Gil Scott Heron’s music! I grew up listening to him. He will be dearly missed!

  3. White_Hawk says:

    Youtube 2:47 (Origins of Hip Hop)

    original link:

    Also on the home page at Dick Gregory’s amazing and informative website

    It was was 40 years from the time Gil Scott Heron recorded the sound track on this mix until Barack Obama’s election as president of the United States. Many voices have come and gone. Change happens with great effort over time, but dramatic events are part of metamorphosis.

    This piece highlights the emotional harmony between the African American Freedom movement and the Egyptian cry for justice and equality. After all we are not so different.

    I thought about this for several days and then put the mix (mash-up) together. Many people appreciate the connection to the proud people of Egypt and the Middle East.

    White Hawk
    May 28, 2011

    credits . .
    Say it Loud is a video (mash-up) about the revolution in Cairo Egypt
    ( Russia Today Jan 28, 2011),
    Mixed together with Gil Scott Heron’s poetry (125th St and Lenox NYC
    It is currently featured on Dick Gregory’s fascinating
    website (Just above his picture on the left)

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