Clyde Stubblefield, “Funky Drummer” For James Brown, Dead At 73

Music News

The man known as James Brown’s “Funky Drummer” passed away over the weekend. Clyde Stubblefield, who created one of the most sampled drum breaks in music, died of kidney failure Saturday (Feb. 18), according to the Associated Press.

Stubblefield’s collaborations with Brown include classics like, “Say It Loud I’m Black and I’m Proud, “Ain’t It Funky Now,” “I Got the Feelin,’” and the Sex Machine album.

But it was “Funky Drummer” that extended his legacy into hip-hop with samples on Public Enemy’s “Fight the Power,” LL Cool J’s “Mama Said Knock You Out,” Dr. Dre’s “Let Me Ride,” and more.

Prince also used “Funky Drummer” in 1991’s “Gangster Glam,” and secretly paid Stubblefiled’s medical bills after learning that he was suffering from cancer in 2000.

READ: That Time Prince, Michael Jackson & James Brown Shared The Stage

Born in Chattanooga, Tennessee in 1943, Stubblefield decided that he wanted to be drummer as a child. Though he was not formally trained as a drummer, he began playing professionally as a teen, and toured with Eddie Kirkland and Otis Redding early in his career. He joined Brown’s band in 1965, and stayed on board for six years.

Stubblefield lived in Madison, Wisconsin from 1971 until his death.

See Twitter dedications to the pioneering musician below.

READ: Throwback Jams: Sounds Of Protest

Tags: James Brown