The year 2016 has claimed another music legend. Parliament-Funkadelic synthesizer genius Bernie Worrell dies at age 72.
Bernie Worrell, a groundbreaking keyboardist, composer, singer, and founding member of the Parliament-Funkadelic collective, died on Friday (June 24) at age 72. He was diagnosed with late-stage lung cancer earlier this year.
In addition to being a lasting member of Parliament, Funkadelic, and other groups that were offsprings of the P-Funk movement, Worrell also recorded and performed with legendary acts like the Talking Heads and Fela Kuti. In the '00s, Worrell worked with hip-hop artists like Mos Def and Prince Paul.
He was one of the first keyboardists to get his hands on a Moog synthesizer, and his work led the instrument to become a vital component of many different genres. His bassy synths are perhaps the most recognizable element of the P-funk sound, and his arrangements have been sampled countless times, on many a hip-hop classic.
G-funk is a direct descendant of P-funk, and much of the greatest West Coast rap would sound completely different were it not for the vibrant and deeply funky synths of Worrell. R.I.P.
Damn. Just getting the news. RIP the homie Bernie Worrell. I was blessed to play with you. The body rest but the funk lives on....— Talib Kweli Greene (@TalibKweli) June 25, 2016
RIP BERNIE WORRELL— dadmosphere (@atmosphere) June 24, 2016
RIP Bernie Worrell pic.twitter.com/yG7AvwTsaI— Chuck D (@MrChuckD) June 24, 2016