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Parliament singer performing
Photo Credit: Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Founding Parliament-Funkadelic Member, Clarence 'Fuzzy' Haskins, Has Died

Founding Parliament-Funkadelic singer Clarence 'Fuzzy' Haskins, who later began a solo music career in the '70s, has died at 81.

The funk and soul community mourns the recent loss of Clarence 'Fuzzy' Haskins, a founding member of legendary collective Parliament-Funkadelic. On Friday (March 17), Parliament-Funkadelic members George Clinton and Bootsy Collins shared the news on social media.

Born on June 8, 1941 in Elkhorn, West Virginia, a teenage Haskins would first join music group Gel-Airs before accompanying Clinton in New Jersey doo-wop group the Parliaments in the 1960s. Occasionally singing lead vocals, Haskins became a vital part of the group, which transformed into Parliament-Funkadelic by 1968. Haskins, who would embark on a solo music career in the mid-'70s, had songwriting credits on several Funkadelic tracks, including “I Get a Thing” and “I Wanna Know if It’s Good to You.”

Although Haskins would become a preacher and record gospel music in his later years, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1997 as part of Parliament-Funkadelic. The group also received Grammy Lifetime Achievement recognition in 2019.

"He was known, during live P-Funk shows, to don skin-tight bodysuits and gyrate against the microphone pole as he whipped the crowd into a frenzy, especially when they performed 'Standing on the Verge of Getting It On,'" reads Haskins' biography on Clinton's website.

"Parliament-Funkadelic pushed boundaries further and further on classic albums like Mothership Connection and Maggot Brain, and set a futuristic pace for Black music," said Rock & Roll Hall of Fame representative Dawn Wayt. "But Clarence 'Fuzzy' Haskins kept things connected to their street corner harmony roots."

Check out more tributes below.