Gil Scott-Heron, a poet and singer whose best known work is perhaps The Revolution Will Not be Televised, died at the age of 62 on Friday, according to reports.

The New York-based artist died on Friday at St. Luke's Hospital in Manhattan the New York Times reported, citing a twitter posting from his publisher Jamie Byng and a representative from his record label, XL.

The cause of death was not immediately known.

The Revolution Will Not be Televised piece first released in 1970 and made to accompanying perscussion instruments, made allusions to various television commercials, media events, of the time and said the revolution would be a participatory, not merely a matter of observation.

You will not be able to say home, brother. You will not be able to plug in, turn on and cop out, he said. The piece was filled with then-current day events and commercial jingles which may have lost relevance in the last 40 years, although its themes of police violence, hope and allusions to television culture are still relevant today.

The piece reflected on police shootings, saying there would be no pictures of pigs shooting down brothers in instant replay, and that Black people will be in the street looking for a brighter day.

He said there will be no highlights on the eleven o'clock news' or be right back after a message or be no re-run.

The revolution will be live, he said.

In an interview with Skip Blumberg, Scott-Heron explained his thinking behind the song.

The catch phrase, what that was all about, 'The Revolution Will Not Be Televised', that was about the fact that the first change that takes place is in your mind. You have to change your mind before you change the way you live and the way you move.

The thing that's going to change people is something that no one will ever be able to capture on film, it will just be something that you see and all of a sudden you realize I'm on the wrong page or I'm on the right page but I'm on the wrong note and I've got to get in synch with everyone else to understand what's happening in this country.


(1970) - The Revolution Will Not Be Televised from album Small Talk at 125th and Lenox

(1974) - 'The Bottle' from album Winter in America