Parliament-Funkadelic singer Clarence ‘Fuzzy’ Haskins dies at 81
Clarence Eugene “Fuzzy” Haskins, original member of the influential music collective Parliament-Funkadelic, has died. He was 81 years old.
The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, which inducted Haskins along with other senior members of Parliament-Funkadelic in 1997, confirmed the death to NPR in a statement.
Born in Elkins, WV, in 1941, Haskins began singing in the 1950s and 1960s in New Jersey in the doo-wop vocal quintet The Parliaments.
Named after the American cigarette brand and fronted by charismatic musician and producer George Clinton, the group only achieved major success in 1967 with “I Wanna Testify”.
After their small Detroit label disbanded, Clinton teamed up with The Parliaments and a band called Funkadelic. Eventually known as Parliament-Funkadelic or P-Funk, the musical collective had a big impact on the R&B and funk scenes of the 1970s.
According to his biography on Clinton’s website, “He was known at P-Funk concerts to don skintight jumpsuits and twirl against the microphone pole as he drove the crowd into a frenzy, especially when they performed ‘Standing on the Verge’ to get it.’ ”
“Parliament-Funkadelic pushed the envelope further and further on classic albums like Mothership Connection and Maggot Brain, and set a futuristic beat in black music,” said Rock & Roll Hall of Fame spokeswoman Dawn Wayt. “But Clarence ‘Fuzzy’ Haskins kept things tied to their harmony roots around the corner.”
From the mid-1970s, Haskins developed a solo career, but continued to perform and record with various P-Funk members on and off over the years.
P-Funk member Bootsy Collins paid tribute to Haskins on social media. “We lost his frequency today,” the musician wrote on Twitter. “We will miss you my friend, bandmate and soul brother.”
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Prayers go out to the family and friends of Clarence “Fuzzys” Haskins.🙏 We lost his frequency today
3-17- 23. He was an original Parliament/Funkadelic inducted into the RHOF.🤘 You will be missed my friend, band mate and soul brother! Baby in Boots!!!🤩 pic.twitter.com/IQI6crS8sS
— Bootsy Collins (@Bootsy_Collins) March 18, 2023