HITS Daily Double

Sylvia Robinson, RIP

SYLVIA ROBINSON, who had a hit as a singer-songwriter with "Pillow Talk" but was later known as one of hip-hop's early founders for releasing "Rapper's Delight," rap's first mainstream success, died Thursday, according to publicist Greg Walker. She was 76. Robinson, born Sylvia Vanterpool, died of congestive heart failure at the New Jersey Institute of Neuroscience in Secaucus. Along with her late husband, Joe, Robinson was the owner of Sugar Hill Records, which released rap's first hit, "Rapper's Delight," by the Sugar Hill Gang. It was Robninson who gathered rappers Master Gee, Wonder Mike and Big Bank Hank to record the 15-minute song, which became a sensation. The condensed version was the first rap song to get radio play and hit the Top 40. Sugar Hill would continue to play a part in the early years of hip-hop with a roster that included Grand Master Flash and the Furious Five. Robinson is survived by three sons and several grandchildren and great-grandchildren. (9/30a)