Sugar Hill Records Founder Sylvia Robinson Dead at 75
Sugar Hill Records founder Sylvia Robinson died early Thursday morning (Sept. 29) as a result of congestive heart failure. The music business executive, often credited with the title "Mother of Hip-Hop," passed at 6:28AM EST at Meadowlands Hospital in Secaucus, N.J., at the age of 75.
Robinson, a former singer, was credited with pushing hip-hop's first track into the mainstream spotlight. 'Rapper's Delight,' the 1979 smash belonging to the Sugarhill Gang, is widely recognized as the first rap song to be released by a hip-hop group. She was also instrumental in the release of Grandmaster Flash & the Furious Five's 'The Message.' She also co-founded Sugar Hill Records in 1979, alongside her husband.
On the performance front, the lauded industry leader was part of Mickey & Sylvia, an R&B team that disbanded in the '50s but not before uniting for their song, 'Love Is Strange.' She went on to record solo records like 1973's 'Pillow Talk,' which nabbed a No. 3 slot on the Billboard Hot 100.
Before her death, she was reportedly ill for five months.
Robinson has three sons, Joseph Robinson Jr., Leland Robinson and Rhondo Robinson, and was wife to the late Joseph Robinson Sr.