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George Clinton

George Clinton performing in 2007
Background information
Born July 22, 1941 (1941-07-22) (age 68)
Kannapolis, North Carolina,
United States
Origin Plainfield, New Jersey,
United States
Genres Funk, soul, rock, R&B
Occupations Singer, songwriter, producer
Instruments Vocals, synthesizers, keyboard
Years active 1955–present
Labels Capitol
Paisley Park/Warner Bros.
Sony 550 Music/Epic
The C Kunspyruhzy
Associated acts Parliament
Bootsy's Rubber Band

George Clinton (born July 22, 1941) is an American singer, songwriter, bandleader, and music producer and the principal architect of P-Funk. He was the mastermind of the bands Parliament and Funkadelic during the 1970s and early 1980s, and began his work as a solo artist in 1981. He has been called one of the most prominent innovators of funk music, along with James Brown and Sly Stone. Clinton became a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, after being inducted in 1997 with fifteen other members of Parliament-Funkadelic.




Early life

Clinton was born in Kannapolis, North Carolina, grew up in Plainfield, New Jersey, and resides in Tallahassee, Florida. During his teen years, Clinton formed a doo wop group, inspired by Frankie Lymon & the Teenagers, called The Parliaments, while straightening hair at a barber salon in Plainfield.[1] For a period in the 1960s, Clinton was a staff songwriter for Motown. Despite initial commercial failures (and one major hit single, "(I Wanna) Testify", in 1967), The Parliaments eventually found success under the names Parliament and Funkadelic in the seventies (see also P-Funk). These two bands combined elements of bands/musicians such as Jimi Hendrix, Sly and the Family Stone, Cream and James Brown while exploring different sounds, technology, and lyricism. Clinton and Parliament-Funkadelic dominated black music during the 1970s with over 40 R&B hit singles (including three number ones) and three platinum albums.[1] Clinton's efforts as a solo artist began in 1981. He is also a notable music producer working on almost all of the albums he performs on, as well as producing albums for Bootsy Collins and Red Hot Chili Peppers amongst others.


Beginning in the early 1980s, Clinton recorded several nominal "solo" albums, although all of these records featured contributions from P-Funk's core musicians. The primary reason for recording under his own name was legal difficulties, due to the complex copyright and trademark issues surrounding the name "Parliament" (primarily) and Polygram's purchase of his former label (as part of Parliament), Casablanca Records.

In 1982, Clinton signed to Capitol Records as a solo artist and as the P-Funk All-Stars, releasing Computer Games that same year.[2] "Loopzilla" hit the Top 20 R&B charts, followed by "Atomic Dog", which reached #1 R&B, but peaked at #101 on the pop chart.[2] In the next four years, Clinton released three more studio albums (You Shouldn't-Nuf Bit Fish, Some of My Best Jokes Are Friends and R&B Skeletons in the Closet) as well as a live album, Mothership Connection (Live from the Summit, Houston, Texas) and charting three singles in the R&B Top 30, "Nubian Nut", "Last Dance", and "Do Fries Go with That Shake?". This period of Clinton's career was marred by multiple legal problems (resulting in financial difficulties) due to complex royalty and copyright issues.

In 1985, he was recruited by the Red Hot Chili Peppers to produce their album Freaky Styley, because the band members were huge fans of George Clinton and funk in general. Clinton, in fact, wrote the vocals and lyrics to the title track which was originally intended by the band to be left an instrumental piece. The album was not a commercial success at the time, but has since sold 500,000 copies after the Chili Peppers became popular years later.

George Clinton performing in Holland.

Though Clinton's popularity had waned by the mid 1980s, he experienced something of a resurgence in the early 1990s, as many rappers cited him as an influence and began sampling his songs. Alongside James Brown, George Clinton is considered to be one of the most sampled musicians ever.

In 1989, Clinton released The Cinderella Theory on Paisley Park, Prince's record label. This was followed by Hey Man, Smell My Finger. Clinton then signed with Sony 550 and released T.A.P.O.A.F.O.M. (The Awesome Power of a Fully Operational Mothership) in 1996, having reunited with several old members of Parliament and Funkadelic.

1990s to 2000s

George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic performing at Waterfront Park, in Louisville, Kentucky, July 4, 2008

In 1995 Clinton sang "Mind Games" on the John Lennon tribute "Working Class Hero". In the 1990s, Clinton appeared in films such as Graffiti Bridge (1990), House Party (1990), PCU (1994), Good Burger (1997) and The Breaks (1999). In 1997 he appeared in Space Ghost. Most recently he appeared as the voice of The Funktipus, the DJ of the Funk radio station Bounce FM in the 2004 video game, Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, in which his song "Loopzilla" also appeared. Rapper Dr. Dre sampled most of his beats to create his G-Funk music era. He's also worked with Tupac Shakur on the song "Can't C Me" from the album All Eyez on Me; Outkast on the song "Synthesizer" from the album Aquemini; Redman on the song "J.U.M.P." from the album Malpractice; Souls of Mischief on "Mama Knows Best" from the album Trilogy: Conflict, Climax, Resolution; Killah Priest on "Come With me" from the album Priesthood and the Wu Tang Clan on "Tar pit" from the album "8 Diagrams". In 1994 he collaborated with British band Primal Scream on "Funky Jam" from their LP "Give Out But Don't Give Up".

George Clinton performing live in Texas.

On December 6, 2003, Clinton was charged with one felony count of cocaine possession and a misdemeanor count of possessing drug paraphernalia in Tallahassee, Florida.[3] Just two weeks later, he made his first public appearance since the arrest, jamming onstage with the jam band Phish in Miami. On August 11, 2004, he pleaded no contest to two misdemeanor drug-paraphernalia charges, while the felony charge was dropped.

Clinton founded a record label called The C Kunspyruhzy in 2005.

He had a cameo appearance in the season-two premiere of the CBS television sitcom How I Met Your Mother, on September 18, 2006.

"You're Thinking Right", the theme song for The Tracey Ullman Show, was written by Clinton. He appeared on the intro to Snoop Dogg's Tha Blue Carpet Treatment album, released in 2007. He also appeared in the film PCU (Jeremy Piven, David Spade) and played a concert for the big party.

Clinton was also a judge for the 5th annual Independent Music Awards to support independent artists' careers.[4]

Clinton allows audience members to tape his live performances for private, non-commercial use only.[5]

On September 16, 2008, Clinton released his next solo album George Clinton and His Gangsters of Love on Shanachie Records. Largely a covers album, Gangsters features guest appearances from Sly Stone, El DeBarge, Red Hot Chili Peppers, RZA, Carlos Santana, gospel singer Kim Burrell and more. [6]

On New Years Eve, December 31, 2008, George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic headlined the show at the Warfield Theater in San Francisco, CA.

On May 9 George performed at Pole Day for the Indianapolis 500 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway

On September 10, 2009, George Clinton was awarded the Urban Icon Award from Broadcast Music Incorporated, the collecting society for composers' copyrights. The ceremony featured former P-Funk associate Bootsy Collins, as well contemporary performers such as Big Boi from Outkast and Cee-Lo Green from Gnarls Barkley.

George stated during a Grammy 2010 interview that he is finishing up work on a new album with Sly Stone. He said it should be released around May 2010.

On February 1, 2010, Clinton's son, George Clinton, Jr., was found dead in his Florida home. According to police, he had been dead for several days.[7]

On April 23, 2010, George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic are to appear at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival.


Solo albums

Clinton performing in Centerville, 2007
Year Title Label
1982 Computer Games Capitol Records
1983 You Shouldn't-Nuf Bit Fish Capitol Records
1985 Some of My Best Jokes Are Friends Capitol Records
1986 R&B Skeletons in the Closet Capitol Records
1989 The Cinderella Theory Paisley Park Records
1993 Hey Man, Smell My Finger Paisley Park Records
1993 Dope Dogs XYZ
1996 T.A.P.O.A.F.O.M. Sony 550 Music
2005 How Late Do U Have 2BB4UR Absent? The C Kunspyruhzy
2008 George Clinton and His Gangsters of Love Shanachie Records

Live albums

Year Title Label
1986 Mothership Connection (Live from the Summit, Houston,Texas) Capitol Records
1990 Live at the Beverly Theater in Hollywood Westbound Records
2004 500,000 Kilowatts of P-Funk Power (Live) Fruit Tree
2006 Take It To The Stage(Live) Music Avenue


Year Title Label
1988 Atomic Clinton! (EP) Capitol Records
1990 Atomic Dog (EP) Capitol Records

Solo singles

  • "Loopzilla" (1982) US R&B #19, UK #57
  • "Atomic Dog" (1982) US R&B #1, UK #94
  • "Nubian Nut" (1983) US R&B #15
  • "Do Fries Go with That Shake?" (1986) US R&B #13, UK #57
  • "R&B Skeletons (In the Closet)" (1986)
  • "Why Should I Dog You Out?" (1989)
  • "Tweakin'" (1989)
  • "Paint The White House Black" (1993)
  • "Martial Law (Hey Man...Smell My Finger)" (1993)
  • "If Anybody Gets Funked Up (It's Gonna Be You)" (1996)

George Clinton Family Series

Year Title Label
1992 Go Fer Yer Funk Nocturne
1992 Plush Funk Nocturne
1993 P Is The Funk Nocturne
1993 Testing Positive 4 The Funk AEM
1993 A Fifth of Funk AEM

Guest appearances


External links


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