GIL

SCOTT-HERON

Revolutionary man of peace

music

Gil Scott-Heron was a poet, author, composer and recording artist. His spoken word over driving beats — humor-laced, sharp critiques of politics, racism and mass media — made him a global voice of protest for decades.

Book

The stunning memoir of Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award winner Gil Scott-Heron, The Last Holiday has been praised for bringing back to life one of the most important voices of the last fifty years.

CONNECT

See notice of events and announcements from the Scott-Heron Estate.

GIl’s Legacy

Thank you for visiting gilscottherononline.com. We have recently updated this official website that pays tribute to Gil Scott-Heron, one of the most influential writers and musicians of our time.  Please browse this page for information on how Gil’s music is being used in movies, documentaries, advertisements and more as we continue to promote and protect his legacy. You can also select icons to see recent postings that acknowledge the timelessness of Gil’s words, hear his voice, and share your thoughts with us.

We value each one of you and the role you play in keeping Gil’s legacy alive. If you take steps to promote justice and peace in the world, you also will be honoring Gil’s life. Thank you.  If you wish to license Gil’s music, make use of portions of his books, or involve us in any tributes, etc., please use the contact icon to reach me.

Rumal Rackley,

Gil Scott-Heron’s son and administrator, The Estate of Gil Scott-Heron

GIl’s Life

Gil Scott-Heron was born on April 1, 1949 in Chicago, Illinois, to Gil and Bobbie Heron. As he explains in his memoir, The Last Holiday, and on his last album, “I’m New Here,” his parents divorced early in his life. When he was 18 months old, he was “moved in” with his grandmother, Lily Scott, in Jackson, TN.

In countless interviews and written material, Gil talks of his deep love for Lily Scott, with whom he lived until her death in 1961, when Gil was 12 years old. Gil’s mother, Bobbie, returned to her mother’s house in Jackson and took a job at nearby Lane College. And, together, she and Gil agreed that he would be among the students integrating the all-white junior high school in Jackson. A year later, they moved to New York City – a place Gil returned to as home, along with Washington, DC, where he began his career, for the rest of his life.

When he died on May 27, 2011, he had achieved an eclectic fan base that spanned the globe, and had published two novels and several books of poetry. He also had completed his memoir, which was released by his publisher posthumously in January 2012. In February 2012, Gil received a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, which was accepted by his four children: son, Rumal Rackley, and daughters Nia Kelly, Gia Scott-Heron, and Chegianna Newton. Two years later, he was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame for The Revolution Will Not Be Televised.

Gil was predeceased by his parents. His mother, Bobbie, died in 1999. Gil met his father when Gil was 26 years old, he says in his song “Hello Sunday, Hello Road.” At the same time, he met his siblings, Gail, Denis and Kenny. Kenny died in 2000, Gil Heron Sr. died in 2008, and Denis died at the end of 2014.

HEAR MUSIC

Sampled by the world’s leading artists, his legacy and influence transcends generations.

For several generations, Gil’s work has and continues to influence popular culture and media.

UPDATES

Father’s Day: Gil Scott-Heron’s son on his father’s genius

​​Reflecting on the sixth anniversary of Gil’s transition to the spirit world

Gil’s death on May 27, 2011 shook me to my core. Although he had been sick off and on. I did not know how sick and had not even entertained the notion that he would die any time soon. It still feels unreal, not being able to pick up the phone and call him and talk about the playoffs or what was going on in our lives. Or answer his invitations for me to join him at a club date to sell his books and CDs while he signed autographs and interacted with fans backstage. Or hear him make a joke that would fly over most everyone else’s heads.

 

I don’t think I’ve ever really grieved properly, but at the same time I am unable to wallow in sorrow, mostly because I know he is still with me. And neither of us has that in his character. While I would prefer to be able to stand beside him, to see him with my eyes, to hear him with my ears, to watch his jokes fly over people’s heads, I experience his presence in many spiritual ways.

 

I know he is guiding me as I carry on the business he worked so hard to leave as his legacy.

 

As he knew it would, the prose, poetry and music Gil produced in his lifetime still command respect and attention. People want to use his artistry in their creative works, and I am proud to run his business, to do everything I can to protect and promote his intellectual property, to build his brand and continue to introduce his genius to future generations.

 

Fortunately, many of the people who value Gil’s words and music and want to pay tribute to him or officially license the material find me. Unfortunately, others do not. Frequently I run across individuals or businesses that are misappropriating or misrepresenting Gil’s image, life or intellectual property. Sometimes their behavior is illegal; sometimes it’s merely unethical or unkind.

 

Gil fought against such actions for decades, and too often he fought alone.

 

I am carrying on for him, but I am not alone. First, he is with me. Second, many of you – family, friends, associates, and strangers alike — also genuinely want to see Gil’s work recognized and compensated properly; and you are helping me in ways too vast to mention.

 

On this anniversary of his transition to the spirit world , I extend my gratitude to you on his behalf. Check in here from time to time for updates regarding placement of his music and other projects. Thank you for loving Gil Scott-Heron. Then and now.

 

Gil’s son, Rumal

Happy Birthday Gil!

Gil Scott-Heron had a  response ready for anyone who claimed an April 1st birthdate automatically made him an “April fool.”

 

“Everybody born on December 25th ain’t Jesus Christ.”

 

Yet, there was great symbolism in Gil being born on April 1 – a time many people devote to humor. From childhood, Gil showed a clever, quick mind that he applied to entertaining his grandmother who raised him and to writing stories in his ever-present notebook. In his late teens and for the rest of his life, Gil’s creativity, laced with a powerful wit, resulted in profound poetry and prose that could sting and amuse simultaneously – words that have stood the test of time, as relevant now as they were when he wrote them.

 

For us April 1, 2017, is Gil Scott-Heron’s birthday before it’s anything else. We celebrate his caring spirit, amazing sense of humor, depth of understanding of the human condition, and commitment to inspiring activism to make the world a better place.

Gil transitioned to the spirits at age 62 on May 27, 2011, but we feel him with us, always.

 

Happy Birthday, Gil, from your loving family, friends and admirers!

Gil’s “Running” is featured in a new Adidas ad campaign.  ​​The 60​-second ​film (​see link below) showcases NFL cornerback Marcus Peters, MLB shortstop Carlos Correa, NBA forward Justise Winslow and WNBA guard Moriah Jefferson, and promotes alphabounce. Enjoy the link below.

Adidas says: “Running” by Gil Scott-Heron, a cultural icon of individuality and disruption, mixes old with new and provides a fresh take on the sport in the campaign’s film.

​​As always, let me know if you are aware of interest in licensing Gil’s intellectual property. Thank you for your support in promoting Gil’s legacy.

  • Gil Scott-Heron’s voice is in the opening montage of Showtime’s Homeland for the duration of Season six.

HISTORY

FIRST anniversary (2012)

May 27, 2012 marks the first anniversary of the death of Gil Scott-Heron. While this represents some...
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SECOND anniversary (2013)

May 27, 2013 marks the second anniversary of the death of Gil Scott-Heron. Not a day has gone by tha...
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THIRD anniversary (2014)

May 27, 2014 will mark the third anniversary of Gil Scott-Heron’s death. Every day we see evidence...
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FOURTH anniversary (2015)

May 27 marks the fourth anniversary of the day Gil Scott-Heron made his transition to join the Spir...
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FIFTH anniversary (2016)

It’s hard to believe five years have passed since Gil died on May 27, 2011, because he was such a ...
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SIXTH anniversary (2017)

Gil’s death on May 27, 2011 shook me to my core. Although he had been sick off and on. I did not k...
Read more

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