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SugarHill Founding Member Big Bank Hank Dies

ENGLEWOOD, NJ (CelebrityAccess) — Hip hop and rap pioneer Henry 'Big Bank Hank' Jackson, one of the founding members of the seminal SugarHill Gang, died on Nov. 11 at the age of 58 from complications of cancer.

Jackson got his start as an artist after being discovered by Sugar Hill Records' Sylvia Robinson and joined Mike 'Wonder Mike' Wright and Guy 'Master Gee' O'Brien, who joined Jackson in the SugarHill Gang.

The group found chart success with the crossover 1979 hit "Rappers Delight" which is widely considered to be the first song to bring hip hop and rapping into the mainstream.

While the group was never able to find similar success on American charts, they had a string of charting tracks in Europe, including "Apache", "Eighth Wonder", "Rappers Reprise", and "Showdown."

The group reformed in the 2000s, performing as Original Sugar and as Rapper's Delight Featuring Wonder Mike and Master Gee.

"So sad to hear about our brother's passing,” Mike Wright and Guy O'Brien said in a statement released Tuesday. “The three of us created musical history together with the release of ‘Rapper's Delight.’ We will always remember traveling the world together and rocking the house. Rest in peace Big Bank."

Funeral arrangements were not available at the time of production. – Staff Writers