Gil Scott-Heron has died.

The poet and singer -€“ most widely known for his poem set to music 'The Revolution Will Not be Televised' -€“ passed away at a hospital in New York yesterday (27.05.11) aged 62.

Although it is not currently clear how he died, it is thought he became ill on a recent trip to Europe.

Chicago born Gil rose to fame through his socially and politically charged works in the late 70s and early 80s, and is often cited as being one of the forefathers of rap music as well as a voice of African-American activism and inspiration to later politically minded rappers.

Paying tribute, Eminem wrote on Twitter: "RIP Gil Scott-Heron. He influenced all of hip-hop (sic)."

Cee Lo Green also added a tribute, writing: "Rest in peace to the GOD GIL SCOTT (sic)."

Radio DJ Zane Lowe wrote: "Can't find the right words to properly honour the late great Gil Scott-Heron so I'll just say thank you. GSH RIP (sic)."

Gil's music often blended a number of genres such as blues, jazz and soul and last year he released his first record for 16 years, 'I'm New here', which was critically well received.