Legendary hip hop pioneer Lovebug Starski, born Kevin Smith, has suddenly passed away at the age of 57 in Las Vegas. Many prominent figures  within the hip hop community has confirmed this news through social media. 

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Lovebug Starski was born in the Bronx on May 16th, 1970 and is often credited as one of the first MC’s in the hip hop. He was part of hip hop early beginnings in the Bronx and aside from Keith Cowboy of the Furious Five, he’s often cited as the person who brought forth the term “hip hop.” He first began as a record boy before beginning to DJ at Disco Fever Club in the Bronx. He also released several singles under the moniker Little Starski such as “Gangster Rock” and “Positive Life.”

Several people in the hip hop community have confirmed the news. Jonathan Shecter, founding editor of The Source, was one of the first people to break the news on social media. DJ Premier also sent his condolences on Twitter as well. 

“We Lost One Of Our Greatest Pioneers Of Hip Hop… “LOVEBUG STARSKI”. He Is Also Known As One Of The People Who Came Up With The Name “HIP HOP” Aside From Another Legend “Keith Cowboy” Of “The Furious 5″… Salute To All The Pioneers and Condolences To His Family,” Premier wrote. 

Chuck D later told to HipHopDX that Starski passed away due to a heart attack.

“He DJ’ed for the great MCs and MC’ed with the great DJs. Besides Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five, Lovebug Starski was one of the few that took his legendary street records status into the recording world.” He said.

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R.I.P Lovebug Starski. We send our thoughts and condolences to his friends and family.