Big Bank Hank, one of the founding members of the pioneering hip-hop group Sugarhill Gang, died Tuesday from kidney complications caused by cancer. He was 57.
Big Bank Hank, born Henry Jackson, changed the course of rap with his fellow Sugarhill Gang members Michael "Wonder Mike" Wright and Guy "Master Gee" O'Brien. Their song "Rapper's Delight" became the first hip-hop single to become a Top 40 Billboard hit and one of the first rap songs ever played on the radio. Wright and O'Brien said in a statement that they were "so sad" to hear of Hank's death. "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." --Catherine Garcia