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El (Eldra) DeBarge, R+B / pop singer-songwriter, and solo artist. Best known as the lead singer of the R/soul music family group DeBarge throughout the early to mid-1980s.

Legends of Jazz .. Duke Ellington was known in his life as one of the most influential figures in jazz, if not in all American music. Ellington called his music "American Music" rather than jazz.

Gil Scott-Heron, soul & jazz poet, musician, author, & self-described "bluesologist". He was primarily known as a spoken word performer, addressing social & political issues, particularly with his popular "The Revolution Will Not Be Televised" work. His music, notably on Pieces of a Man and Winter in America, influenced & helped engender later African-American music genres such as hip hop & neo soul. Music writers have described him as "the godfather of rap" & "the Black Bob Dylan". R.I.P.