Rap pioneer Gil Scott-Heron dies

Gil Scott-Heron

Musician Gil Scott-Heron, who helped lay the groundwork for rap by fusing minimalistic percussion, political expression and spoken-word poetry but saw his brilliance undermined by a years-long drug addiction, died Friday at age 62.

A friend, Doris Nolan, said he died at St. Luke's Hospital after becoming sick upon returning from a trip to Europe.

Scott-Heron was known for work that reflected the fury of black America in the post-civil rights era and also spoke to the social and political disparities in the country. His songs often had incendiary titles -- "Home is Where the Hatred Is," or "Whitey on the Moon," and through spoken word and song, he tapped the frustration of the masses.

Scott-Heron's influence on rap was such that he sometimes was referred to as the Godfather of Rap, a title he rejected.

Shakira considering album in Arabic

Colombian pop singer Shakira said Saturday she would one day like to sing pop songs, if not an entire album, in Arabic.

The native Spanish speaker, who also has global hits in English, was speaking at a news conference in Morocco, where she was headlining the Mawazine World Rhythms music festival.

"It would be a challenge to do an album in Arabic. I would first have to learn Arabic," she said.

"I am completely open to that experience. ... At some point I would love that to happen in my life."

Born in Colombia of Syrian origin, Shakira said she grew up listening to the Arab world's premier divas of the 20th century, Egyptian Umm Kalthum and Lebanese Fairuz.