Parliament-Funkadelic Member Dies at 81 – Billboard
Clarence “Fuzzy” Haskins, the first MP for Funkadelic, has died. He was 81 years old.
P-Funk frontman and producer George Clinton announced the death of the singer and Rock and Roll Hall of Famer via social media on Friday (March 17). The cause of death was not specified.
“We are saddened to announce the passing of the first Funkadelic MP, Clarence Eugene “Fuzzy” Haskins (born June 8, 1941 – March 17, 2023),” Clinton wrote on Instagram along with photos of Haskins. He added in a Facebook post: “Drop the fluff, fly on.”
Former Parliament-Funkadelic member Bootsy Collins also paid tribute to his former bandmate on Twitter.
“We pray to the family and friends of Clarence “Fuzzy” Haskins. We lost his frequency today 3-17-23,” Collins. wrote on Friday. “He was the first MP/Funkadelic inducted into the RHOF. We will miss you my friend, bandmate and soul mate! Thank you for your guidance in my puppy year. Asshole baby!!
Born in 1941 in West Virginia, Haskins was a member of the Gel-Airs before joining a group originally known as the Parliaments, first formed in the 1960s as a doo-wop quintet with Clinton, Calvin Simon, Grady Thomas and Ray Davis. The group that later became known as the Parliament-Funkadelic.
According to a posting about Haskins on Clinton’s website, Haskins is credited with contributing to such P-Funk tracks as “I Got a Thing” and “I Wanna Know If It’s Good to You”.
“In addition, he was a good drummer, which he proved in the song “Can You Get to That”, which he also co-wrote,” Clinton’s website says. “Some of Fuzzy’s best vocals appeared on the 1972 Funkadelic LP. America eats its babies, especially in “Ms Lucifers Love”. But singing wasn’t the only thing Fuzzy brought to P-Funk. During live P-Funk performances, he was known to wear tight bodysuits and spin around the microphone stand, driving the crowd into a frenzy, especially when they performed “Standing on the Verge of Getting it On”.
Haskins remained a regular member of P-Funk until the late 1970s. He released his first solo album, Quite a different thing, in 1976 through Westbound Records. The set included collaborations with Bernie Worrell, Donald Austin and Collins. Haskins released his second solo album, Radio Activein 1978.
Haskins briefly joined Parliament-Funkadelic for the P-Funk Live Earth Tour in 1977 before leaving the group again for good. “By this time, he claimed to have finished singing all the dirty old songs and began to study the Word of the Lord,” Clinton’s website says.
In 1981, Haskins joined former P-Funk members Simon, Davis and Thomas to release an album. Connections and disconnections an album called Funkadelic, which sparked a lawsuit from Clinton. In his later years, Haskins became a preacher and recorded gospel music.
Along with other members of Parliament-Funkadelic, Haskins was inducted by Prince into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1997.
“Funk is the force that blew the roof off the shit of modern music,” Prince said in his Rock Hall intro.
Clinton and other Funkadelic MPs received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Recording Academy in 2019.