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.