‘Unsung’ Gil Scott-Heron’s Revolution Now Televised

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Day 3: Womad Festival 2010

Poet and musician Gil Scott-Heron, who was known for his work, “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised,” will be featured on TV One’s “Unsung” tonight.

Scott-Heron was born in Chicago and attended school in New York, when he and his mother relocated to the Bronx in 1961. It was at DeWitt Clinton High School, where he was one of five black students, that he began to feel alienated due to race and and the economic gap. He attended Lincoln University in Pennsylvania where one of his biggest influences, Langston Hughes, also studied. At school, he met Brian Jackson, and the two formed the group, Black & Blues. He soon took time off schooling to write his novels, “The Vulture” and “The N-gger Factory.”

Scott-Heron started recording in 1970 and released his first LP, “Small Talk at 125th and Lenox.” His most recognized piece, “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised,” was featured on the record. He went on to record many more albums and play at Madison Square Garden.

In 2001, he was sent to prison for cocaine possession. He was released in 2003 on parole but was then arrested the same year for possession of crack cocaine. He was sent back to prison for six months.

Gil Scott-Heron died on May 27, 2011 in New York City. He revealed to “New York Magazine” that he was HIV-positive, and had been hospitalized for pneumonia. He has gone on to influence many people, from Marvin Gaye to Chuck D to Talib Kweli.

Gil Scott-Heron is featured on tomorrow night’s “Unsung” episode. Watch a sneak peek below, and tune in to the full episode on Wednesday on TV One, at 10 p.m. EST.

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