Clarence “Fuzzy” Haskins, singer and original member of Parliament–Funkadelic and a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee, has died at the age of 81.
P-Funk mastermind George Clinton announced Haskins’ death Saturday on social media. No cause of death was 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.
Haskins’ former band mate Bootsy Collins tweeted, “Prayer’s going out to Clarence ‘Fuzzys’ Haskins family & friends. We lost his frequency today 3-17- 23. 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!!!”
Haskins’ P-Funk tenure dates back to when he and Clinton were members of the Sixties vocal group the Parliaments, which — due to their record label folding — ultimately morphed into Funkadelic and Parliament.
“Fuzzy wrote and co-wrote some of Funkadelic’s earliest classics, including ‘I Got A Thing’ (featuring his vocals) and ‘I Wanna Know If It’s Good To You,’” Clinton’s website wrote of Haskins.
“He was a good drummer as well, as he proved on ‘Can You Get To That,’ which he also co-wrote. 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 and his “berserker octave vocals” remained a full-time member of Funkadelic up through 1976’s Hardcore Jollies, and a member of Parliament to 1976’s The Clones of Dr. Funkenstein. After releasing his own solo album A Whole Nother Thang, Haskins briefly rejoined P-Funk for their 1977 tour (captured on Live: P-Funk Earth Tour) before departing the collective for good later that year. “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 notes.
In later years, Haskins did become a preacher, but he remained in the P-Funk orbit: He and fellow founding-but-former Parliament-Funkadelic members Calvin Simon (who died in 2022), Ray Davis, and Grady Thomas performed together as Original P, a name the group adopted after losing a lawsuit against Clinton over the Funkadelic name; Haskins, Simon and Thomas — as Funkadelic — released the maligned Connections and Disconnections in 1981, resulting in Clinton’s lawsuit.
Despite their legal issues, Haskins was among the 15 members of Parliament-Funkadelic that were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1997. Haskins also received a lifetime achievement award from the Grammys in 2019 for his contribution to P-Funk.