Performing Arts

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Gil Scott-Heron

Gil Scott-Heron

Gil Scott-Heron (1949-2011) born Gilbert in Chicago to singer Bobbie Scott-Heron and soccer play Giles Heron. was an American soul and jazz poet, musician, and author, known primarily for his work as a spoken-word performer in the 1970s and 1980s. Not long after Gilbert’s birth, his parents separated and Gil was sent to live in Tennessee with his grandmother, Lillie Scott. Lillie Scott bought a piano and young Gil learnt how to play by ear. His grandmother also introduced him to the work of Langston Hughes. After his grandmother’s death, Gil moved to New York to live with his mother. At DeWitt Clinton high school in the Bronx, an English teacher was impressed by Gil’s writing ability and recommended him to receive a scholarship so he could attend Fieldston School, a private university preparatory school. Wanting to reach a wider audience, Scott-Heron recorded his first alum in 1970.