"We lost his frequency today," former P-Funk member Bootsy Collins wrote.
Left to right: Calvin Simon, Fuzzy Haskins and Grady Thomas of the funk band Parliament-Funkadelic pose for a portrait in circa 1977. Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images
Clarence “Fuzzy” Haskins, an original member of Parliament-Funkadelic, has died. He was 81.
P-Funk frontman/producer George Clinton announced the singer and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee’s death through social media on Friday (March 17). A cause of death was not provided.
“We are saddened to announce the passing of an original Parliament Funkadelic member Clarence Eugene ‘Fuzzy’ Haskins (born June 8, 1941-March 17th, 2023),” Clinton wrote on Instagram alongside photos of Haskins. He added in a Facebook post, “Give up the Fuzz, Fly 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,” 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 year’s. Bootsy baby!!”
Born in 1941 in West Virginia, Haskins was a member of the Gel-Airs before joining group originally known as the Parliaments, first formed in the 1960s as a doo-wop quintet with Clinton, Calvin Simon, Grady Thomas and Ray Davis. The group that later became known as Parliament-Funkadelic.
Haskins is credited for his contributions to P-Funk tracks like “I Got a Thing” and “I Wanna Know If It’s Good to You,” according to a post about Haskins on Clinton’s website.
“He was a good drummer as well, as he proved on ‘Can You Get to That,’ which he also co-wrote,” Clinton’s site says. “Some of Fuzzy’s best vocals appeared on Funkadelic’s 1972 LP America Eats Its Young, most notably on ‘Ms Lucifers Love.’ But singing wasn’t the only thing that Fuzzy brought to P-Funk. 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.’”
Haskins remained a full-time member of P-Funk through the late 1970s. He released his first solo album, A Whole Nother Thang, in 1976 through Westbound Records. The set featured collaborations with Bernie Worrell, Donald Austin and Collins. Haskins dropped his second solo album, Radio Active, in 1978.
Haskins briefly rejoined Parliament-Funkadelic for the group’s P-Funk Live Earth Tour in 1977 before leaving the group again for good. “By this time, he claimed he was through with singing all the ole dirty songs and began studying the Lord’s Word,” Clinton’s site says.
In 1981, Haskins joined former P-Funk members Simon, Davis and Thomas to release the Connections & Disconnections album under the Funkadelic name, which prompted a lawsuit by Clinton. In his later years, Haskins became a preacher and recorded gospel music.
Along with other members of Parliament-Funkadelic, Haskins was inducted by Prince into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1997.
“Funk is a force that tore the roof off the sucker that is modern music,” Prince said in their Rock Hall introduction.
Clinton and the other members of Parliament-Funkadelic received a lifetime achievement award from the Recording Academy in 2019.
Get weekly rundowns straight to your inbox