Russell, who helmed the sessions for 2010’s ‘I’m New Here’ as well as releasing it on his label, XL Recordings, said Scott-Heron had “immense” talent and spirit.
Writing a blog post at Richardxl.tumblr.com, Russell revealed that he last spoke to Scott-Heron two months ago and claimed he was a “father figure of sorts to me”.
“He had a fierce intelligence, and a way with words which was untouchable; an incredible sense of humour and a gentleness and humanity that was unique to him,” Russell wrote.
“Gil was not perfect in his own life. But neither is anyone else. And he judged no one,” he continued.
A host of artists have paid tribute to Scott-Heron since news broke of his death earlier today (28), including Talib Kweli and Public Enemy‘s Chuck D, who revealed he was working on new material with the spoken word legend.
Chic guitarist Nile Rodgers (pictured above right) has also recounted details of the first and only time he spoke to Scott-Heron in a blog post on his website, NileRodgers.com.
“To my surprise he knew who I was. In a matter of minutes we were on a nice wavelength,” said Rodgers, who recently announced he was cancer free after battling an aggressive form of the disease. “I send my heartfelt condolences to his family and may he rest in peace.”