Parliament/Funkadelic’s Bernie Worrell Passes Away At Age 72

Bernie Worrell, the influential keyboardist for Parliament/Funkadelic, passed away earlier today (June 24) at the age of 72. In a brief statement to his Facebook page, his wife, Judie Worrell, wrote “AT 11:54, June 24, 2016, Bernie transitioned Home to The Great Spirit. Rest in peace, my love — you definitely made the world a better place. Till we meet again, vaya con Dios.” Worrell had been battling with cancer, which he announced earlier in the year.

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Much more than a keyboardist, Worrell was a founding member of Parliament/Funkadelic, along with George Clinton. While the P-Funk sound is often attributed to Clinton, it was in fact Worrell’s work on the Moog synthesizer that created the rumbling bass lines and soaring highs that dominated the sound. As Hip-Hop fans know, that music would experience a renaissance in the mid-90s, as the foundation for Dr. Dre’s G-Funk, a style that continues to reverberate today in songs by artists like Kendrick Lamar and YG.

In addition to his role within Parliament/Funkadelic, Worrell also was a key figure in one of the most influential Rock bands of the 80s, playing keyboard for David Byrne’s Talking Heads on their Speaking in Tongues album, and in their concert film Stop Making Sense.

Ambrosia For Heads extends its deepest condolences to the family, friends and fans of Bernie Worrell.