Englewood Makes History

Robinson, Sylvia Vanderpool (1935-2011)



Robinson, Sylvia Vanderpool (1935-2011)


Slyvia Vanderpool Robinson was a singer and record producer. She had two R&B chart toppers. She released her single "Love is Strange" in 1957 with her then-boyfriend Mickey Baker. They performed on stage as "Mickey & Sylvia."  They split in 1962. In 1973, she did a solo single, "Pillow Talk." She is also credited with producing two hits in hip-hop, "Rapper's Delight" by Sugarhill Gang in 1979 and "The Message" by Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five in 1982. She gained the monkier "Mother of Hip-Hop" due to this. 

In 1966 Robinson moved to New Jersey and created All Platinum Records with her husband, Joseph Robinson Sr., whom she married in 1959. It was renamed Sugar Hill Records in 1979. This was due to financial troubles and along with her son scouted the three artists who would become the Sugarhill Gang. She also owned two bars, "Joey's Place" and "Blue Morocco." 

Robinson divorced her husband in May of 1959. She had three sons, Joseph "Joey", Leland, and Rhondo "Scutchie."

She passed away due to congestive heart failure.


Sylvia Robinson.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 11 May 2024.

"The mother of hip-hop." The Gazette, October 1, 2011, p. 49.


Birth Date



Manhattan, New York, New York, USA

Death Date


Source of File Attached

Sylvia Robinson.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 11 May 2024




“Robinson, Sylvia Vanderpool (1935-2011),” Englewood Makes History, accessed July 12, 2024, https://englewoodmakeshistory.org/items/show/299.


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