Sylvia Robinson, who was considered as the "mother of Hip-Hop", has passed away. Publicist Greg Walker told the Associated Press that the woman behind seminal rap group Sugarhill Gang died of congestive heart failure at the New Jersey Institute of Neuroscience in Seacaucus, New Jersey on Thursday, September 29.
The singer, whose biggest hit as a solo artist was perhaps her 1973 single "Pillow Talk", was 76. She is survived by three sons, several grandchildren and great-grandchildren. According to CNN, her funeral is scheduled for October 11 at Community Baptist Church in Englewood, New Jersey.
Sylvia's grandson and MTV personality Darnell Robinson shared about the loss on Twitter. "RIP to my grandmother. We lost Mommy Sylvia this morning but she will never be forgotten! We all love you Mommy," he first tweeted. Hours later, he wrote, "Making a dedication song with my sister @TheLeaRobinson to my grandmother Sylvia Robinson. 'Grandson and Granddaughter of Hip- Hop' "
Female rap icon MC Lyte, in the meantime, remembered Sylvia as "a huge inspiration". She told Billboard.biz, "Here was a woman who had launched her own label and was calling the shots! She literally changed the way many looked at the game and certainly created a path for many women to become a part of the music business in executive positions."
Born Sylvia Vanderpool, the singer-songwriter first found success as one-half of the duo Mickey & Sylvia with hit song "Love Is Strange". She married Joe Robinson in 1964, and the two formed All Platinum Records in 1968 and co-founded Sugar Hill Records in 1979. She helped to form the Sugarhill Gang, whose song "Rappers Delight" became the first commercially successful rap recording.