Recording Academy Releases Statement on Passing of Maya Angelou

Recording Academy Releases Statement on Passing of Maya Angelou

As BWW reported earlier today, America's Poet Laureate Maya Angelou has passed away at the age of 86. The poet died last night, May 27th in a Winston-Salem, North Carolina hospital while recovering from an "unexpected ailment". She died surrounded by her family.

Neil Portnow, President/CEO of The Recording Academy, released the following statement today about Angelou:

"Three-time GRAMMY winner Maya Angelou was a true Renaissance woman who literally did it all. Fearless and uninhibited, she was a trailblazer who broke color and gender barriers through her passionate and articulate prose and poetry, ultimately becoming 'the people's poet.' Her eloquence and honesty led to her well-earned success, and she fully appreciated the sound and music of language and the spoken word. This world citizen was and always will be a national treasure, and our culture is infinitely better because of her indelible contributions. Our deepest sympathies go out to her family, friends and all of us who have benefited from her infinite wisdom."

Angelou has received more than 30 honorary degrees from universities worldwide. She is perhaps best known for her 1969 book "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings", which tells of her life up to the age of seventeen, and brought her international recognition and acclaim.

The poet was set to be honored this Friday, May 30th in Houston where she was going to be given the Beacon of Life Award.

Read what other celebrities and friends have said about Angelou here.