Calvin Simon dead at 79 – Parliament-Funkadelic co-founder passes as bandmates mourn artist's death
CALVIN Simon, the Parliament-Funkadelic co-founder, has passed away at the age of 70 as his bandmates have mourned the late artist's death.
Former P-Funk bassist Bootsy Collins announced Calvin’s death on Instagram.
He 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!"
George Clinton sent his condolences as well and wrote on Facebook: “Rest in peace to my P-Funk brother.
“Fly on, Calvin!”
The cause of death was not immediately made available.
The late music star contributed to the tracks such as Give Up the Funk, and Flash Light.
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Calvin was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame alongside with the other members of the band back in 1997, according to Rolling Stone.
Music fans took to social media and sent their condolences to the late artist.
One music fan tweeted: "Yesterday we lost not only the great Sidney Poitier, but Calvin Simon from P-Funk."
Another music fan added: "Rest in peace to #CalvinSimon, one of the original Parliaments, a funk visionary, and a West Virginia legend. Let the funk flow through, y'all."
A third music fan said: "It's a sad day, Calvin Simon die."
A fourth person stated: "Sad news. The death of Calvin Simon, one of the original Parliaments and long time member of Parliament/Funkadelic. An inductee of Rock n Roll Hall of Fame. Rest in Power."
A commentator mentioned: "Rest In Peace Mr. Calvin Simon. Fly on!"
Calvin joined the Parliaments in the late '50s.
He performed alongside Fuzzy Haskins and Grady Thomas in the group.
He remained a member of the group for many years as it changed and evolved, according to Rolling Stone.
The group transformed from R&B to acid-rock to funk.
It wasn't until 1977 when Calvin left, citing a dispute over finances and management.
He left his mark on the group during his tenure, contributing to classics like Mothership Connection and Funkentelechy vs. the Placebo Syndrome to name a few.
Calvin came from humble beginnings.
He was born in Beckley, West Virginia in 1942.
His music career began with singing in a church choir for weekly radio broadcasts.
When he was 13, his family moved north to New Jersey.
He found work as a barber and continued to pursue his dream.
After forming The Parliaments, he and the other founding members moved to Detroit to be close to the Motown seen.
The struck it big with their song (I Wanna) Testify in 1967. That same year, Calvin was drafted in Vietnam.
The Parliaments – who eventually changed their name to Parliament – found commercial success as a R&B group while Funkadelic made underground music.
The two groups toured together for years, from 1976 until 1981.
After leaving the group, Calvin teamed up with some of his other former collaborators to release an album called Connections & Disconnections under the Funkadelic name.
They did the same once again in 1998 and 2001.
Calvin eventually began making gospel music under his own label called Simon Sayz.
His album, Share the News, landed at No. 21 on Billboard's Gospel Albums Chart in 2004.
Around that same time, he returned to Beckley to help build a new building for Sky Baptist Church.
As he geared up to tour for his gospel album, Calvin was diagnosed with thyroid cancer.
He had throat surgery and survived.
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