Parliament-Funkadelic singer Clarence ‘Fuzzy’ Haskins dies at 81 : NPR
Rock’n’Roll Hall of Fame
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 boundaries further and further on classic albums like Connection to the mothership And maggot brainand gave black music a futuristic beat,” said Rock & Roll Hall of Fame spokeswoman Dawn Wayt. “But Clarence “Fuzzy” Haskins kept things tied to their street corner harmony roots.
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 in an email to NPR. Collins said:
“Fuzzy was not only a talented singer and musician, he was a leader and a team player. He was always a light at the party, at the shows or wherever he went.
He grabbed attention on stage and off.
Not in a boastful way, but just being his natural werewolf self. He could have played the Wolfman. It was an inside joke that spread through the atmosphere.
Fuzzy was so fun to hang out with. But it was on stage that he devoted his full attention to entertaining the audience.
He was devoted to his family and friends, but anyone who knew Fuzzy knows he’d give you the shirt off his back. He will be greatly missed. RIP my friend.”