Clarence “Fuzzy” Haskins, the vocalist and electrical on-stage presence who performed alongside George Clinton from the inception of the Parliaments by way of to the height years of Funkadelic, has died, Clinton and the band introduced Saturday. He was 81 years previous.
Born in 1941, Haskins was an authentic member of the Parliaments when the doowop quintet shaped in 1960, vocalizing alongside Clinton and his bandmates Ray Davis, Calvin Simon, and Grady Thomas, who would stay within the fold through the band’s radical transformation. After years chasing a success on varied labels—and at last discovering one in 1967’s “I Wanna Testify”—the group morphed into Funkadelic in 1970, rebranded as a galactic R&B-funk ensemble—a change primarily pushed by Clinton and Haskins, in line with Clinton’s web site.
In addition to contributing vocals, Haskins was an explosive stage presence, in addition to a author (on songs together with Funkadelic’s “I Bought A Factor” and “I Wanna Know If It’s Good To You”) and multi-instrumentalist who drummed on tracks like “Can You Get to That.” He sang on traditional LPs like Funkadelic’s 1970 self-titled debut and the next 12 months’s Maggot Mind, earlier than disembarking the mothership in 1976 to document the solo album A Entire Nother Thang. He returned to Funkadelic for 1977’s Dwell: P-Funk Earth Tour.
Haskins joined Simon and Thomas in a reimagined model of Funkadelic in 1980, releasing one LP—titled 42.9% in Germany and Connections & Disconnections within the U.S.—which result in a courtroom battle with Clinton over the Funkadelic title. Within the ‘90s they joined Davis in Authentic P, performing Parliament-Funkadelic classics along with authentic songs. Haskins was inducted into the Rock & Roll Corridor of Fame with different members of Parliament-Funkadelic in 1997.