Sylvia Robinson was the co-owner of Sugar Hill Records and the 'mother of hip-hop'. We bring you a tribute mix to the grand old lady mixed by Kirk Degiorgio...

A New York City native, Sylvia Robinson initially received fame as an R&B singer in the 1950s, performing as part of the duo Mickey & Sylvia and later recording solo as Sylvia. Her biggest hit was the 1973 single “Pillow Talk”. She had originally hoped the song would be recorded by soul hero Al Green but he turned it down, considering it was too risqué for his religious beliefs.

Sylvia then found success as the mastermind behind the first commercially successful rap singles. She brought together the three rappers known as the Sugarhill Gang from Harlem and, with husband Joe Robinson, formed Sugar Hill Records to release highly influential tracks - the most outstanding being Rapper’s Delight by the Sugarhill Gang and Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five’s The Message, which is credited as the rap song that brought socially conscious lyrics into hip-hop.


Sylvia passed away in New York City on September 29, 2011 from heart failure. DJ-institution Kirk Degiorgio, a regular guest at Red Bull Music Academy Radio with his Sound Obsession Mixes, has put together a musical collage in tribute to the career of this founding figure of hip hop.

Lezli Valentine - Love On A Two-Way Street - All Platinum
The Moments - Lovely Way She Loves - Stang
Willie & The Mighty Magnificents - Funky 8 Corners - All Platinum
Sylvia - Pillow Talk - Vibration
Sylvia - Didn't I - Vibration
Sylvia - Gimme A Little Action - Vibration
Sylvia - Next Time I See You - Vibration
The Moments - Sexy Mama - All Platinum
Derek Martin - How Can I Get Away - Vibration
Sylvia - Easy Evil - Vibration
Sylvia & The Moments - Sho 'Nuff Boogie - All Platinum
Brother To Brother - Mother Earth - Turbo
Brother To Brother - Big Brother - Turbo
Sylvia - Sweet Stuff - Vibration
Sylvia - Lay It On Me - Vibration
Brand New Funk - Classical Funk - Vibration
Sugarhill Gang & The Sequence - Rappers Reprise (Jam-Jam) - Sugarhill
Sugarhill Gang - Hot Hot Summer Day - Sugarhill
Funky 4 + 1 - That's The Joint - Sugarhill
Crash Crew - We Want To Rock - Sugarhill
Fine Quality feat. Cuz - Aah Dance - Sugarhill
Sugarhill Gang - The Lover In You - Sugarhill
Sylvia Robinson - It's Good To Be The Queen - Sugarhill
Melle Mel & Duke Bootee - Message II (Survival) - Sugarhill
Busy Bee - Making Cash Money - Sugarhill
Mickey & Sylvia - Love Is Strange – Groove



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