Clarence “Fuzzy” Haskins, the co-founder of Parliament-Funkadelic and former vocalist died on March 17, 2023. The singer was 81. The cause of his death is currently unknown.
If you’ve ever found yourself nodding your head to the funky sounds of Parliament-Funkadelic, you have Clarence ‘Fuzzy’ Haskins to thank. With his soulful voice and playful lyrics, Haskins helped to create some of the most iconic funk music of all time.
Who was Clarence “Fuzzy” Haskins?
Clarence Eugene “Fuzzy” Haskins was an American singer, songwriter, and record producer, best known for his work as a founding member of the funk band Parliament-Funkadelic. Born on June 8, 1941, in Elkins, West Virginia, Haskins began his career as a member of a doo-wop group called The Parliaments in the 1950s.
After signing with Motown Records in the 1960s, The Parliaments changed their name to Parliament and began to incorporate funk and psychedelic rock into their sound. Haskins played an important role in the development of Parliament’s early sound and was known for his soulful vocals and playful lyrics.
In the 1970s, Haskins co-founded Funkadelic with George Clinton, and the two groups were eventually merged into Parliament-Funkadelic, a collective of musicians that became one of the most influential funk bands of all time. Haskins continued to write and record music with Parliament-Funkadelic throughout the 1970s and also released several solo albums during this time.
Haskins left Parliament-Funkadelic in the year 1977 to pursue a solo career and also worked as a producer for other artists. He later rejoined Parliament-Funkadelic for various reunion tours and recordings.
Clarence “Fuzzy” Haskins’ Cause of Death
Clarence, an original member of Parliament, died at the age of 81. The causes of his death are still unknown, reportedly Haskins suffered a stroke last year.
P-Funk mastermind George Clinton announced Haskins’ death Saturday on social media.
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According to Hakins’ biography on Clinton’s website, “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.’ ”
Former Parliament-Funkadelic member Bootsy Collins also paid tribute to his former bandmate on Twitter.
Prayer’s going out to Clarence “Fuzzys” Haskins family & friends.🙏 We lost his frequency today
3-17- 23. He was an original Parliament/Funkadelic inducted in the RHOF.🤘We will miss u my friend, bandmate & Soul brother!😢 Thx u for ur guidance in my pup year’s. Bootsy baby!!!🤩 pic.twitter.com/IQI6crS8sS
— Bootsy Collins (@Bootsy_Collins) March 18, 2023
“Prayer’s going out to Clarence ‘Fuzzys’ Haskins family & friends. We lost his frequency today 3-17- 23,” Collins wrote on Friday. “He was an original Parliament/Funkadelic inducted in the RHOF. We will miss u my friend, bandmate & Soul brother! Thx u for ur guidance in my pup years. Bootsy baby!!”
Haskins had been recognized for his contributions to music and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of Parliament-Funkadelic in 1997.
“In Memoriam: Clarence “Fuzzy” Haskins started making music with George Clinton in the late 1950s as an original member of the doo-wop quintet the Parliaments.” Rock and Roll Hall of Fame tweeted In memory of Haskins, “He continued to sing alongside Clinton for decades, as a key member of Parliament-Funkadelic, inducted in 1997.”
In 2019, he and Parliament-Funkadelic were given Grammy Lifetime Achievement Awards.