R.I.P. 'Hair' Composer Galt MacDermot

The Canadian-American musical icon was sampled by the likes of J Dilla, Gang Starr and MF DOOM
R.I.P. 'Hair' Composer Galt MacDermot
Galt MacDermot — the Grammy-winning Canadian-American composer behind such works as Hair and Two Gentlemen of Verona — has died. While a cause of death has yet to be revealed, MacDermot's passing was confirmed to Playbill by his family. He was 89 and died today (December 17), just one day before his 90th birthday.

Born in Montreal, MacDermot rose to international acclaim in the early 1960s. After winning a pair of Grammy Awards for his "African Waltz," he went on to write the smash musical Hair, which first premiered in 1967.

MacDermot's musical became a true cultural phenomenon, spawning topping the Billboard charts, earning a Grammy and eventually turned into a full-length film. Still enduring success all these decades later, Hair is even set to make its live television debut in spring 2019 as Hair Live! on NBC.

In the wake of Hair's success, MacDermot continued to work in musical theatre, penning works such as the Tony Award-winning Two Gentlemen of Verona, Isabel's a Jezebel, Via Galactica, Dude and The Human Comedy.

MacDermot was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2009, and in 2010, he earned the Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada's Lifetime Achievement Award.

MacDermot also had a huge impact on the world of hip-hop, with his work being widely sampled in the genre's earlier days. J Dilla, Gang Starr, MF DOOM, Busta Rhymes, Run-D.M.C. and more reworked the composer's material over the years.

You can find a few tributes to MacDermot below.