Sad news to report.
Love Bug Starski, the pioneering rapper who is credited by coining the phrase "hip hop," has died. According to Forbes, he was 57 at the time of his death, though other sources claim he was 60. While his cause of death was not known, it's confirmed that he died in Las Vegas.
Starski's friend Jonathan Shecter confirmed the tragic news on Twitter, noting that Starski had been performing as recently as last week:
Some terrible news: hip-hop legend Lovebug Starski has died suddenly and unexpectedly in Las Vegas at age 60. ☹️ Very sad. The man was a gifted entertainer, a warm, generous soul. He had been rocking Vegas venues and joined KRS-One on stage last week. Rest peacefully good sir. pic.twitter.com/kHggNAbIsS— Jonathan Shecter (@SheckyGreen) February 9, 2018
Starski was one of the founding fathers of hip hop, most notably recognized in the opening verses of the Notorious B.I.G.'s "Juicy." He was a talented DJ and a gifted rapper whose influence could be felt throughout decades of rap. He was a front row witness to hip hop's rise from the streets of the Bronx to global domination.
He will be missed.