Maggie Estep, Spoken Word Performer And Star Of ‘MTV Unplugged,’ Dead At 50

Grunge-era artist was known for her slam poetry and spoken-word tracks.

Maggie Estep, a grunge-era spoken-word performer who performed on “MTV Unplugged,” died on Wednesday after suffering a massive heart attack, The New York Times has confirmed. She was 50.

In addition to penning seven books, Estep also released two spoken-word albums, 1994′s No More Mister Nice Girl and 1997′s Love Is a Dog From Hell. She quickly became known for her cynical slam poetry and defiant spoken-word tracks like 1994′s “Hey Baby” — which was on rotation on MTV in the mid-’90s.

On Love Is A Dog From Hell, Estep recruited former Velvet Underground singer Lou Reed to appear in the video for her cover of “Vicious.” At the time, Estep called the cameo “incredible.”

“I’ve always loved that song since I first heard it when I was 14, and I never even had an inkling that I would ever be in a band, but I’d always wanted to do it,” she told us in 1997. “Then, in the last day in the studio, I said, ‘hey, can we try to do a sort of trip hop version of ‘Vicious?” and everybody looked at me like I was insane and then we did it.”

Estep famously performed on MTV’s “Unplugged” series, where she engaged audiences with a performance of “The Sex Goddess of the Western Hemisphere” off No More Mister Nice Girl.

Estep is survived by her mother, Nancy; two half-brothers and her half-sister.