Parliament-Funkadelic’s Bernie Worrell was honored by fans and entertainers on Friday (June 24) after it was sadly announced that the legend passed away at the age of 72.
According to NPR, the keyboardist announced earlier this year he was diagnosed with late-stage lung cancer. His wife, Judie Worrell, confirmed his death. As a songwriter and founding member of the Parliament-Funkadelic, Worrell was an inspiration to many artists, from Prince to your favorite rappers.
Worrell began his career in music at an early age as a child music prodigy. The New Jersey native was a classically trained pianist and attended the New England Conservatory of Music and Juilliard before meeting George Clinton in his early 20’s. After the two joined funk forces, Worrell became the group’s musical director, curating a sound that jumped the lines of R&B, hip-hop and pop music. Many of P-Funk’s songs were sampled in Dr.Dre’s creation of “G-Funk” sound that dominated the West Coast music scene in the 90’s.
He was also a member of the expanded version of the Talking Heads in the 80’s. The Rock and Roll Hall of Famer’s very heavy discography shows just how astounding his musical creativeness took him.
In April, George Clinton and Bootsy Collins of P-Funk, David Byrne and Jerry Harrison of the Talking Heads, Fred Schneider of the B-52s, Buckethead, Living Colour, Questlove and more performed at a special benefit concert to help pay for Worrell’s medical expenses, Rolling Stone reports.
Fans like producer Just Blaze and rapper Talib Kweli sent condolences on social media.
Damn now Bernie Worrell. ?
— Crime Rhyme Houdini (@JustBlaze) June 24, 2016
Musician Sean Lennon also reminded us of Worrell’s pioneering use of the Moog synthesizer.
Bernie Worrell inventing synth bass: https://t.co/DyE1hj4YlP
— Sean Ono Lennon (@seanonolennon) June 24, 2016
RIP Bernie Worrell (1944-2016) https://t.co/V6ChcaFkgR
— Kevin Powell (@kevin_powell) June 24, 2016
Just found out bernie Worrell of parliament /funkadelic and genius of the funk passed away. Another great one gone to not be replaced
— Sinbad (@sinbadbad) June 24, 2016
Music has sure taken some tough losses this year.