Parliament-Funkadelic legend Bernie Worrell dies at age 72

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    At 11:54, June 24, 2016, Bernie transitioned Home to The Great Spirit. Rest in peace, my love -- you definitely made the world a better place. Till we meet again, vaya con Dios.

    With those words on the Facebook page of legendary Parliament-Funkadelic co-founder and keyboardist Bernie Worrell, the world learned of the passing of the 72 year old funk legend. We had reported back in April that Worrell was fighting cancer, and he sadly succumbed to the disease today.

    A member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the New Jersey born Worrell was an incredible innovator, bringing electronics into music in a way that not only fueled the funk movement of the 70s and 80s, but paved the way for hip-hop and rock to follow suit.

    At 11:54, June 24, 2016, Bernie transitioned Home to The Great Spirit. Rest in peace, my love -- you definitely made the world a better place. Till we meet again, vaya con Dios.

    With those words on the Facebook page of legendary Parliament-Funkadelic co-founder and keyboardist Bernie Worrell, the world learned of the passing of the 72 year old funk legend. We had reported back in April that Worrell was fighting cancer, and he sadly succumbed to the disease today.

    A member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the New Jersey born Worrell was an incredible innovator, bringing electronics into music in a way that not only fueled the funk movement of the 70s and 80s, but paved the way for hip-hop and rock to follow suit.

    Worrell began his career backing up the soul act Tavares in the early 70s, where he met George Clinton and joined Clinton and his band, The Parliaments, in forming the new music ensemble known as Parliament-Funkadelic, or P-Funk. Worrell was a master of all keyboard instruments with the band and added a unique element that made P-Funk sound like no one else. It led to a string of hits that went far beyond the crossover “Give Up The Funk (Tear the Roof off the Sucker)” and “Flashlight,” and established the band as one of the great touring acts in the world.

    A decade later, as P-Funk took a break, Worrell gained a new audience for his work with The Talking Heads, and helped that new wave band find an R&B and funk audience. He continued to work with multiple acts over the years and also released his own music, both under his name and the name of his band, The Bernie Worrell Orchestra.

    Just last year, Worrell appeared, of course as a keyboard player, in the music movie Ricki and the Flash. He was later diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer and prostate cancer, which cut short the continuing career of this all-time great.

    Bernie Worrell was a true music innovator and giant, and a key part of one of the most important bands of the past half century. He will be missed immensely.

    By Chris Rizik

     
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