George Clinton: 'The World Is a Little Less Funky' Without Bernie Worrell

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George Clinton, Bernie Worrell and Bootsy Collins of Parliament Funkadelic during rehearsals for their performance at the 46th annual Grammy Awards in February 2004.

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.

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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."

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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.