Parliament-Funkadelic’s Fuzzy Haskins died March 16, 2023

fuzzy haskins

Fuzzy Haskins (June 8, 1941 – March 16, 2023) was born Clarence Eugene Haskins and was an American singer and a founding member of the groundbreaking and influential 1970s funk bands Parliament and Funkadelic, also known as Parliament-Funkadelic.

Clarence Eugene “Fuzzy” Haskins was born in Elkhorn, West Virginia, and grew up in New Jersey.

In the late 1950s, he was a founding member of doo wop vocal group “The Parliaments” which was led by George Clinton. The group originated as a barbershop quintet in the back room of a barber shop on West 3rd Street in Plainfield, New Jersey.

“The Parliaments” started traveling to Detroit, Michigan on weekends in order to audition for Motown Records and to participate in the amazing music scene there. They released several singles on several record labels, but did not have a hit until 1967 when “(I Wanna) Testify,” on the small Detroit label Revilot Records, reached number 3 on the Billboard R&B singles chart. The song was actually recorded by George Clinton and a group called The Holidays, as the other Parliaments members didn’t make it to Detroit that week.

Revilot went out of business, and in the process, the group lost their name, The Parliaments.

By 1970, the five Parliaments singers were touring with five backing musicians known separately as Funkadelic. The highly rehearsed performances and suited look of “The Parliaments” gave way to the members dressing in their own outrageous styles. Fuzzy Haskins wore long johns on stage. Due to the contractual issues surrounding the group name, George Clinton signed the band as “Funkadelic” to Westbound Records.

This version of the band released their first album “Funkadelic” in 1970. George Clinton also renamed his group of singers “Parliament” (but still with the Funkadelic musicians as official members) and signed that act to the Holland-Dozier-Holland-owned record label, Invictus.

“Parliament” released their first album “Osmium” in 1970.

George Clinton now had two groups that were actually one entity. Under the name “Funkadelic”, the ensemble was geared towards a rock audience, and as “Parliament” it was aimed at a soul music audience. Collectively, they became known as “Parliament-Funkadelic”, or “P-Funk”.

Fuzzy Haskins contributed to “P-Funk” as a writer through 1972, and toured and appeared on “P-Funk” albums as a singer, and occasionally as a guitarist, throughout the 1970s.

Fuzzy Haskins released his first solo album, “A Whole Nother Thang”, in 1976. The album featured “P-Funk” members, Tiki Fulwood and Cordell “Boogie” Mosson on drums, Bootsy Collins and Mosson on bass and Bernie Worrell on keyboards and contributing horn and string arrangements as well. Haskins served as producer, singer, songwriter, guitarist and even drummer on one song.

In June 1977 at the height of P-Funk’s popularity, Fuzzy Haskins, along with other original Parliaments Calvin Simon and Grady Thomas, left the group over financial and management disputes with George Clinton.

Fuzzy Haskins released his second album, “Radio Active”, two years later in 1978.

In 1981, Haskins, Simon, and Thomas formed a new funk band using the name “Funkadelic”, appeared on Soul Train under that name, and released the album, “Connections & Disconnections”. The album was later reissued on CD with the title “Who’s a Funkadelic?” in 1992.

In the 1990s, Fuzzy Haskins toured with “Original P”, a group made up of four of the original five Parliaments.

Fuzzy Haskins was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1997 with fifteen other members of Parliament-Funkadelic.

In 2019, Fuzzy and Parliament-Funkadelic were given Grammy Lifetime Achievement Awards.

Fuzzy Haskins suffered a serious stroke in 2022 and died from complications of diabetes in Grosse Pointe Woods, Michigan, on March 16, 2023, at the age of 81.

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