Parliament-Funkadelic’s Clarence “Fuzzy” Haskins Dead At 81

Evening Standard/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Parliament-Funkadelic’s Clarence “Fuzzy” Haskins Dead At 81

Evening Standard/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Clarence “Fuzzy” Haskins, who was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame in 1997 for his role as the former lead singer for Parliament-Funkadelic, has died. George Clinton and the band announced Haskins’ death Saturday: “We are saddened to announce the passing of an original Parliament Funkadelic member Clarence Eugene ‘Fuzzy’ Haskins (born June 8, 1941-March 17th, 2023).” He was 81.

Haskins was born in Elkhorn, WV. Starting in 1960, he was an original member of the Parliaments, the doowop group that evolved into Funkadelic, alongside Clinton, Ray Davis, Calvin Simon, and Grady Thomas. The Parliaments continued for a decade, scoring a hit with 1967’s “I Wanna Testify,” before transforming into the pioneering, spaced-out funk-R&B act Funkadelic in 1970. A brief bio of Haskins on Clinton’s website credits Haskins as a key driver of that metamorphosis alongside Clinton. Haskins was known for his powerful stage presence and for contributing to the band as a writer, singer, and multi-instrumentalist.

In that bio, Clinton reflected on Haskins’ contributions to Funkadelic:

Fuzzy wrote and co-wrote some of Funkadelic’s earliest classics, including “I Got A Thing” (featuring his vocals) and “I Wanna Know If It’s Good To You.” He was a good drummer as well, as he proved on “Can You Get To That,” which he also co-wrote. Some of Fuzzy’s best vocals appeared on Funkadelic’s 1972 LP America Eats Its Young, most notably on “Ms Lucifers Love.” But singing wasn’t the only thing that Fuzzy brought to P-Funk. He was known, during live P-Funk shows, to don skin-tight bodysuits and gyrate against the microphone pole as he whipped the crowd into a frenzy, especially when they performed “Standing on the Verge of Getting it On.”

But Fuzzy later claimed he felt he didn’t really want to be in P-Funk anymore due to growing problems between individual members. In 1976, he broke away from the Thang and recorded a solo album for Westbound records called A Whole Nother Thang, on which he points out in the song “Which Way Do I Disco,” “the mothership just disconnect me, but the discotheque will protect me.”

In 1977 he jumped back on board with P-Funk and appeared on their P-Funk Live Earth Tour that year. But again he seceded and recorded a second solo album for Westbound, Radio Active. By this time, he claimed he was through with singing all the ole dirty songs and began studying the Lord’s Word.

P-Funk member Bootsy Collins shared the following statement with NPR:

Fuzzy was not only a talented singer & musician, he was a leader & team player. He was always a light at the party, the shows or wherever he would go. He commanded attention on stage & off.

Not in a boastful way, but just being his natural Werewolf self. He could have played the Wolfman. That was an inside joke that got out there in the atmosphere.

Fuzzy was so much fun to hang out with. But on stage is where he gave his full attention to entertaining the audience.

He was dedicated to his family & friends but anybody that knew Fuzzy knows that he would give u the shirt off his back. He will be missed dearly. R.I.P. my friend.

Below, check out some of Haskins’ music.

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