Henry 'Big Bank Hank' Jackson, who was part of the Hip Hop group Sugarhill Gang, died late last night from kidney complications due to cancer, according to his manager David Mallie.
The pioneering emcee was 57-years old.
Sugarhill Gang's surviving members Wonder Mike and Master Gee expressed their condolences in a statement.
"So sad to hear of our brother's passing. Rest in peace, Big Bank."
The trio, who were all from Englewood, New Jersey, scored Hip Hop's first mainstream hit in 1979 with 'Rappers Delight.' The track reached fourth on the R&B charts, eventually sold 10 million copies, and put the word "rap" into the lexicon.
"The feel of when 'Rapper’s Delight' came out was really in the transformation from what everybody in the neighborhoods in New York and in New Jersey was feeling on a street level," Master Gee said of the hit. "Now folks were in a situation where they not only could get their point across in the neighborhood, they could get it on a record and on the radio, then all over the world."
It was the band's only big hit the United States, although they continued to chart well in Europe. Rest in peace, Big Bank.