Sylvia Robinson, the singer-turned-record-executive responsible for signing early hip hop icons such as the Sugar Hill Gang and Grandmaster Flash and The Furious Five to the masses, died Thursday, September 29, 2011 at a hospital in New Jersey, according to the New York Times. She was 75 years old.
Robinson, along with her husband Joe, started Sugar Hill Records in 1979, and with clairvoyant instinct, began signing burgeoning rappers that were buzzing in the club scene. Most notably, Sylvia Robinson orchestrated the recording of “Rapper’s Delight,” arguably the first rap hit and catalyst for rap music to rapidly expand over the next decades.
She was also responsible for Grandmaster Flash and The Furious Five, who released the 1982 groundbreaking hip hop classic, “The Message.”
Prior to her executive career, Sylvia Robinson was an acclaimed singer and songwriter, perhaps best known for her 1973 solo hit “Pillow Talk.”
Read: Sylvia Robinson, ‘the Mother of Hip-Hop,’ Dies at 75 [New York Times]