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Edwin Birdsong, Legendary Keyboardist Sampled by De La Soul, Daft Punk, & Kanye West, Dead at 77

The musician sampled for Daft Punk's "Harder, Better, Faster. Stronger" and De La Soul's "Me Myself and I" influenced several generations and genres.

Legendary keyboardist Edwin Birdsong passed away Monday night (January 21st) in Los Angeles, a source close to the Birdsong family told Okayplayer.

The source told Okayplayer, the musician's son, Singh Birdsong confirmed the death.

A collaborator to Stevie Wonder and Roy Ayers, Birdsong's works served as the backbone of hits and classics across genres, including Daft Punk and Kanye West's "Harder, Better, Faster. Stronger," which sampled the 1979 "Cola Bottle Baby"; De La Soul's "Me Myself and I" and Gang Starr's "Skills" which sampled the 1980 track "Rapper Dapper Snapper."

READHow Roy Hargrove Served As the Soulquarians’ Melodic Backbone

Birdsong is responsible for co-production for some of Roy Ayers greatest funk/jazz classics (such as "Running Away" and Roy Ayers Music Production (RAMP)'s "Come into knowledge" album which features "Daylight" ; the samples for "Description of a Fool" + "Bonita Applebum" by A Tribe Called Quest, respectively) as well as solo work, sampled by De La Soul, Gang Starr, Daft Punk and many more.

"Uncle Bird was a dear family friend and is an integral part of the DNA of hip-hop music." Marlon Williams, Jr., son of DJ Marley Marl, told Okayplayer.  

"A silent but impactful keyboardist and vocalist," he added, "Birdsong remains as a legend in the jazz/funk/disco world."