Parliament-Funkadelic Legend Dead at 81: Clarence 'Fuzzy' Haskins Mourned by Collaborators and Fans
Clarence "Fuzzy" Haskins, a singer and original member of Parliament-Funkadelic, has died. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee was 81. Haskins' passing was confirmed by the influential musical collective and George Clinton, P-Funk frontman/producer, on Friday, March 17, in statements that read, "We are saddened to announce the passing of an original Parliament-Funkadelic member Clarence Eugene "Fuzzy" Haskins (born June 8, 1941-March 17th, 2023)." A cause of death was not disclosed.
Born June 8, 1941 in Elkins, West Virginia, Haskins began his musical career as an original member of the Parliaments when the doo-wop quintet formed in 1960. Named after the American cigarette brand, the Parliaments didn't reach their first hit until 1967's "I Wanna Testify." Just a few years later, Clinton teamed The Parliaments up with a group called Funkadelic, the group eventually morphing into Parliament-Funkadelic or P-Funk, per NPR.
Throughout his time with P-Funk, Haskins not only provided vocals, but also served as a writer on songs like "I Got a Thing, You Got a Thing, Everybody's Got a Thing" and "I Wanna Know If It's Good to You." He was also a multi-instrumentalist who drummed on tracks like "Can You Get to That." He was also a massive stage presence, his biography on Clinton's website noting, "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 left Parliament-Funkadelic in 1976 to record the solo album A Whole Nother Thang. He rejoined the group a year later for the P-Funk Live Earth Tour before exiting once again. He went on to release his second solo album Radio Active in 1978, and in 1980, he joined two other original Parliaments members, Calvin Simon and Gene "Grady" Thomas, for the album Connections and Disconnections. In the '90s, Haskins, Simon, Thomas, and another P-Funk alum Ray Davis formed Original P. Haskins was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame with other members of Parliament-Funkadelic in 1997.
Amid his passing, many musicians have paid tribute to Haskins, including former Parliament-Funkadelic member Bootsy Collins, who wrote on Twitter, "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!!!"