Parliament-Funkadelic co-founder Calvin Simon dies, aged 79

Calvin Simon, best known for his work as a founding member of Parliament-Funkadelic, has died, aged 79.

News of his passing was revealed by former Parliament-Funkadelic bassist Booty Collins, though no cause of death has yet been made publicly available.

Taking to Instagram, Collins wrote: “We lost another Original member of Parliament/Funkadelic. A friend, bandmate & a cool classic guy, Mr. Calvin Simon was a former member of Parliament/Funkadelic. He’s in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, inducted in 1997 with fifteen members of P-Funk! R.I.P.”

George Clinton, another founding member of the influential funk music collective, wrote: “Rest in peace to my P-Funk brother Mr. Calvin Simon. Longtime Parliament-Funkadelic vocalist. Fly on Calvin!”

Simon initially joined up with Clinton in the 1950s as part of the doo-wop group The Parliaments, and they continued to be collaborators as the group moved through various iterations. He ultimately left the group, alongside original Parliaments members Fuzzy Haskins and Grady Thomas, in 1977 following disputes over finances and the number of new members joining the collective.

Over the course of his time as part of the group, Simon appeared on classic Parliament-Funkadelic cuts such as ‘Maggot Brain’, ‘Give Up The Funk’ and ‘Flash Light’. After leaving, he, Haskins and Thomas joined to release the 1981 album ‘Connections & Disconnections’ under the Funkadelic name.

They also released further records together under the name Original P in 1998’s ‘What Dat Shakin” and 2001’s ‘Original P Introducing The Westbound Souljaz’.

In the 2000s, Simon turned his focus to gospel music and released his solo debut album, ‘Share The News’, in 2004, but was diagnosed with thyroid cancer shortly after its release and later underwent throat surgery before going on to release further solo albums in 2016’s ‘It’s Not Too Late’ and 2018’s ‘I Believe’.

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