Joseph Robinson Jr., Owner of Sugar Hill Records, Has Died

He was 53.

Joseph Robinson Jr., who was the owner of hip hop label Sugar Hill Records, has died. reports that Robinson, 53, died after a longstanding battle with cancer in his Tenafly home on Saturday (July 11).

Robinson was the son of Sylvia and Joseph Robinson Sr., who founded the Englewood-based label in the 1970s. The family released “Rapper’s Delight” by the Sugar Hill Gang in 1979, which many rap fans see as the introduction to hip hop in the mainstream. The song was added to the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2014.


Robinson was the executor of the Sugarhill Music Publishing estate and responsible for keeping his family name and legacy alive in the genre.

Robinson, along with his two younger brothers, Rhondo and Leland, took over the label in the 1980s after their parents passed it down to them.

In March 2012, all three Robinson brothers pleaded guilty to charges when they failed to file federal tax returns for over half a million dollars they made in income. The brothers were eventually sentenced to three years' probation, 400 hours of community service and three months of home confinement. is your #1 source for Black celebrity news, photos, exclusive videos and all the latest in the world of hip hop and R&B music.

(Photo: Isaac Brekken/WireImage)

Latest News

Subscribe for BET Updates

Provide your email address to receive our newsletter.

By clicking subscribe, I agree to receive newsletters, marketing communications, updates, special offers (including partner offers), and other information from BET and the Paramount family of companies. For more information about our data practices, consult our Privacy Policy.