Hip-hop pioneer Lovebug Starski is dead at 57

Starksi gave hip-hop culture its name.

Lovebug Starski theGrio.com
(Photo: Johnny Nunez/Getty Images)

Hip-hop pioneer Lovebug Starski is dead at 57.

Starski, perhaps best known as one of the people to give “hip-hop” culture its name, reportedly passed away in Las Vegas. According to AllHipHop News, while the cause of death hasn’t yet been released, sources suggest it was cardiac arrest that took this pioneer.

Starski, who was a Bronx MC in the ’70s and later DJ’ed at the Disco Fever Club, released such songs as “Gangster Rock” and “Dancin’ Party People,” Billboard noted.

Starski remembered

Following the news of his death, other hip-hop greats remembered his contributions and mourned his passing.

“Lovebug Starski was A DJ, MC and innovator,” Chuck D told HipHopDX. “A pioneer who excelled before and after the recording line of ’79, the year when rap records began. He was the first double trouble threat in Hip Hop and rap music. He DJ’ed for the great MCs and MC’ed with the great DJs. Besides Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five, Lovebug Starski was one of the few that took his legendary street records status into the recording world.”

DJ Premier said, “We Lost One Of Our Greatest Pioneers Of Hip Hop… ‘LOVEBUG STARSKI’. He Is Also Known As One Of The People Who Came Up With The Name ‘HIP HOP’ Aside From Another Legend ‘Keith Cowboy’ Of ‘The Furious 5’… Salute To All The Pioneers and Condolences To His Family.”

“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,” said Jonathan Shecter, co-founder of The Source.

You can see some of the messages of love and remembrance below. TheGrio would also like to express our deep sadness and our condolences at this time.