Published Jun 24, 2016Sadly, funk greats Parliament-Funkadelic have lost another one of their beloved. Today (June 24), keyboard legend Bernie Worrell died following a battle with lung cancer. He was 72.
His family broke the news on Facebook this afternoon and shared the following message:
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.
The family then directed fans to Worrell's website for further updates.
Worrell had been diagnosed with fourth stage lung cancer early this year, with several fundraisers set up for the musician before his death.
Worrell was born in Long Branch, NJ, on April 19, 1944, growing up in the New York City suburb of Plainfield. Following early stints in several soul outfits, Worrell met George Clinton and eventually moved to Detroit to join the ranks of what became Parliament-Funkadelic.
Worrell eventually earned the nickname the Wizard of Woo, with his mix of piano, organ, clavinet and various synthesizers helping craft the P-Funk sound. In fact, he was the second musician to ever receive the original Moog synthesizer and the Minimoog. Worrell was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame with the rest of Parliament-Funkadelic in 1997.
Worrell also notably began working with Talking Heads in the early '80s, with his work featured on such albums as Speaking in Tongues and Stop Making Sense. He also joined the band in 2002 when they were inducted in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Throughout his career, Worrell also worked with such musicians as Mos Def, Les Claypool, Ginger Baker, Bill Laswell, Gov' Mule, Mike Watt and Fela Kuti, among many others. On top of that, Worrell embarked on a prolific solo career, releasing several albums throughout the course of his life.