A member of the Sugarhill Gang, whose pioneering hit “Rapper’s Delight” brought hip hop to mainstream audiences 35 years ago, died Tuesday of complications from cancer.
“Big Bank Hank,” whose real name was Henry Jackson, died early Tuesday in Englewood, New Jersey, according to David Mallie, who manages the two surviving Sugarhill Gang members. The New York native was 57.
A beefy, boisterous presence onstage, Hank handled vocals in the early to middle portion of “Rapper’s Delight,” which despite its extended length — one version was more than 14 minutes long — became the first rap song to reach the Top 40 on the U.S. Billboard charts.
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