Sylvia Robinson,Pioneering Producer of Hip-Hop, Is Dead at 75
Sylvia Robinson, the producer of the Sugar Hill Gang’s pioneering hip-hop single “Rapper’s Delight,” died this morning at the age of 75 from congestive heart failure.
Robinson, a singer, musician, producer and label executive at Sugar Hill Records, began her career as half of the duo Mickey & Sylvia in the late ’50s, who scored a hit with “Love Is Strange.” As a solo artist, Robinson also had a hit in 1973 with “Pillow Talk.”
Robinson masterminded “Rapper’s Delight,” the first-ever commercially successful hip-hop single, in 1979. In 1982, she produced another hip-hop classic, Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five’s “The Message.” That song, widely credited with bringing social consciousness to hip-hop music, was the first rap song ever added to the National Archive.