By | January 1, 2024

Title: Legendary Performer Les McCann, a Hip-Hop Icon, Passes Away at 88


Renowned musician and performer Les McCann, widely regarded as a wellspring for hip-hop samples, has sadly passed away at the age of 88. The news of his demise was shared by Jevaillier Jefferson Public Relations via Twitter. While the cause of his death remains undisclosed, McCann’s extraordinary contributions to music and his lasting legacy continue to resonate with fans worldwide.

Legacy and Musical Contributions:

Born on September 23, 1935, in Lexington, Kentucky, Les McCann was a true pioneer in the world of jazz, soul, and funk music. Known for his exceptional skills on the piano and his smooth vocal abilities, McCann’s innovative style captivated audiences across generations. His unique fusion of jazz with elements of gospel and R&B created a distinct sound that resonated deeply with fans and artists alike.

McCann’s extensive discography includes numerous acclaimed albums, such as “Swiss Movement” (with Eddie Harris) and “Layers.” However, it was his 1969 hit single “Compared to What” that solidified his status as a trailblazer in the music industry. The song’s socially conscious lyrics, combined with McCann’s soulful delivery, struck a chord with listeners and became an enduring anthem for the civil rights movement.

Hip-Hop Influence:

Beyond his success in the jazz and soul genres, Les McCann’s music had a profound impact on the development of hip-hop. His innovative compositions and distinctive samples have been widely used by hip-hop artists throughout the years. McCann’s music became a wellspring of inspiration, providing the foundation for numerous iconic tracks.

From Kanye West’s “Touch the Sky” to Common’s “The Light,” artists have skillfully incorporated McCann’s samples, breathing new life into his timeless music. His influence on the hip-hop community is immeasurable, as his work continues to be celebrated and reimagined by new generations of artists.

Tributes and Condolences:

News of Les McCann’s passing has sparked an outpouring of tributes from fellow musicians, fans, and industry professionals. Many have taken to social media to express their condolences and share their fondest memories of the musical icon. McCann’s ability to connect with audiences on a deep emotional level and his dedication to his craft have left an indelible mark on the music community.

While we mourn the loss of Les McCann, it is essential to celebrate the immense impact he had on the world of music. His artistry, innovation, and dedication to his craft will forever be remembered and cherished. McCann’s music will continue to inspire future generations of musicians, ensuring his enduring legacy lives on.


The passing of Les McCann at the age of 88 is a profound loss for the music world. His contributions as a performer, composer, and pioneer in jazz, soul, and funk have left an indelible mark on the industry. McCann’s ability to blend genres and create timeless music has influenced countless artists, particularly in the realm of hip-hop.

As we reflect on his extraordinary career, it is evident that Les McCann’s musical legacy will continue to inspire and resonate with audiences for years to come. While the cause of his death remains unknown, his impact on the music world will forever be cherished and celebrated. Rest in peace, Les McCann, a true legend of our time..


@JevaillierJPR said 'Compared to What' performer Les McCann, a wellspring for hip-hop samples, dies at 88… via @NBCNews

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