Henry Jackson, better known by his alias Big Bank Hank as one-third of the pioneering hip-hop group, The Sugarhill Gang, passed away early this morning in New York. He was 57 years old. According to TMZ, Hank had been suffering from cancer. 

Big Bank Hank began his rapping career in the early '70s, and alongside fellow Sugarhill members Master Gee and Wonder Mike, broke down barriers for hip-hop when their 1979 single "Rapper's Delight" reached Top 40 radio. Master Gee and Mike shared a statement with TMZ regarding Hank's passing, saying, "So sad to hear of our brother's passing. Rest in peace Big Bank."

Others, such as LL Cool J, Funkmaster Flex, and Q-Tip, have shared their own condolences​ for the Bronx native. You can read their heartfelt messages below.

 

You were one of the guys who inspired me to touch the Mic. Rip Big Bank Hank. #ThankYou. #Tears

A photo posted by llcoolj (@llcoolj) on Nov 11, 2014 at 7:45am PST

[via TMZ]