American poet Maya Angelou passed away at the age of 86.
Maya Angelou may not have direct ties to hip-hop, but regardless she left a mark on culture as a whole, and hip-hop is no exception. The author of the famed book "I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings" was referenced just last year in Gucci Mane's albumÂ The State vs. Radric Davis II: The Caged Bird Sings, and that's just touching the surface.
The exceptional poet passed away at the age of 86, reports CBC.Â She was not only a celebrated poet, but a civil rights activist, a professor, an actress, and the list goes on. When she publishedÂ "I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings" in 1969, she became the first African-American woman to write a best-selling book. She received more than 30 honorary degrees in her lifetime, showing just how valued she was by all communities.
The cause of Angelou's death has not been revealed, however it's been reported that her health has been declining for some time. She was scheduled for yet another honor at theÂ 2014 MLB Beacon Awards Luncheon in Houston this weekend, but declined due toÂ "health reasons."Â
Many artists have reacted to the Angelou's passing, you can read some of their thoughts below.Â