George Clinton: 'The World Is a Little Less Funky' Without Bernie Worrell
George Clinton has been making music with his Parliament-Funkadelic bandmate Bernie Worrell on and off since the early 1970s, but that collaboration officially came to an end Friday (June 24) when Worrell died at age 72 following a battle with lung cancer.
Clinton is clearly mourning the loss of the legendary keyboardist, releasing this heartfelt statement to Billboard late Friday: "This is a huge loss. The world of music will never be the same. Bernie’s influence and contribution -- not just to Funk but also Rock and Hip Hop -- will forever be felt. Bernie was a close and personal friend and this is a time of sadness for me personally. P-Funk stands with his family and fans alike in mourning this loss.
"The world is a little bit darker and a little less funky without Bernie in it."
Worrell first joined Clinton and Parliament-Funkadelic in 1970, after the group's debut album was already released, but he left an indelible mark on P-Funk, lending keys to some of the collective's biggest hits, including "One Nation Under a Groove," "Aqua Boogie" and "Flash Light." The group was active all the way up to the 2000s: Parliament-Funkadelic (including Clinton and Worrell) joined Earth, Wind & Fire, OutKast and Robert Randolph and the Family Band onstage at the 46th annual Grammy Awards in 2004 for a Salute to Funk.