A founding member of Parliament-Funkadelic, vocalist, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Clarence “Fuzzy” Haskins has passed away. He was 81 years old.
Clarence “Fuzzy” Haskins, vocalist and stage presence playing alongside George Clinton from the Parliaments on through to Funkadelic, has passed away at age 81, the band announced via social media on Saturday.
“We are saddened to announce the passing of an original Parliament-Funkadelic member Clarence Eugene “Fuzzy” Haskins, born June 8, 1941 – March 17, 2023,” the group’s post read.
Haskins was an original member of the Parliaments when the doo-wop group formed in 1960, alongside Clinton, Ray Davis, Calvin Simon, and Grady Thomas, who remained through the band’s dramatic transformation to an R&B-funk group in 1970.
The group spent several years with various labels and trying to score a hit song, finally succeeding with 1967’s “I Wanna Testify,” released by Revilot Records. Due to legal disputes when Revilot Records went bankrupt in the late ’60s, the group could not use the Parliaments’ name, leading to the name change to continue recording for other labels.
In addition to singing and performing as a multi-instrumentalist, Haskins wrote many of Funkadelic’s songs, including “I Got a Thing, You Got a Thing, Everybody’s Got a Thing” and “I Wanna Know If It’s Good to You.” In 1976 he recorded the solo album A Whole Nother Thang before returning to Funkadelic for their 1977 tour.
When Simon and Thomas wanted to form a re-imagined version of Funkadelic in 1980, Haskins joined them for their one LP: 42.9% in Germany and Connections & Disconnections in the United States. Unfortunately, the reimagined Funkadelic led to a court battle with Clinton over the use of the name.
In the ’90s, they would play with Davis again in Original P, performing many Parliament-Funkadelic classics and original songs. Clarence Haskins was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame alongside other members of Parliament-Funkadelic in 1997.