Big Bank Hank, one third of the group The Sugarhill Gang, passed away on Tuesday at the age of 57.
According to CNN, Big Bank Hang, real name Henry Jackson, died of complications from cancer early Tuesday morning in Englewood, New Jersey.
Wonder Mike Wright and Guy Master Gee, the two remaining members of the Sugar Hill Gang, released a joint statement: So sad to hear about our brother’s passing. The 3 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.”
Rip Rap Legend Big Bank Hank of the SugarHill gang
— juicy j (@therealjuicyj) November 11, 2014
RIP Big Bank Hank of the Sugarhill Gang #pioneer
— QTip (@QtipTheAbstract) November 11, 2014
According to the AV Club, the Sugarhill Gang was the first hip-hop group to land in the Top 40 on the U.S. Billboard charts with the release of “Rapper’s Delight” in 1979. Big Bank Hang contributed to the song’s signature phrase, “Ho-tel, Mo-tel, Holiday Inn.”
The Sugarhill Gang had a few hits in the 80s but the group ultimately disbanded in 1985.
Big Bank Hank said in 2013: “I see groups that are hot one minute and next time you see them they’re asking if you want a soda with that Happy Meal … We’ve had the ability to transcend generations and that’s a gift. That’s a blessing and I’m grateful for that.”