Sugarhill Gang's Henry 'Big Bank Hank' Jackson dies at 57

Group’s release Rapper’s Delight was first rap single to become Top 40 hit

Rapper Henry ‘Big Bank Hank’ Jackson (centre) of The Sugarhill Gang died today of cancer-related complications at age 57. Photograph: Evan Agostini/Getty Images

Rapper Henry ‘Big Bank Hank’ Jackson (centre) of The Sugarhill Gang died today of cancer-related complications at age 57. Photograph: Evan Agostini/Getty Images

 

Hip hop pioneer Henry ‘Big Bank Hank’ Jackson, a founding member of The Sugarhill Gang, died Tuesday at the age of 57 after battling cancer.

David Mallie, manager of the trio, which had the first hip hop hit with the 1979 single Rapper’s Delight, said Jackson died after suffering from kidney complications, according to media reports.

Rapper Delight was the first rap single to become a Top 40 hit.

“So sad to hear of our brother’s passing. The three of us created musical history together with the release of Rapper’s Delight. We will always remember travelling the world together and rocking the house. Rest in peace Big Bank,” Wonder Mike and Master Gee, the group’s surviving members, said in a statement.

Fans of the rapper took to Twitter to express their sadness.

“R.I.P. Big Bank Hank. One-third of the song that made all of this hip hop music possible. Thanx for opening the door,” tweeted rapper Big Daddy Kane.

Billboard described Rapper’s Delight as a “watershed single” and one of the most controversial rap tracks. - (Reuters)