George Clinton is an American singer, songwriter, and record producer. He was the lead vocalist of Parliament-Funkadelic during their most commercially successful period.
George Clinton is an American musician, singer, songwriter, and record producer. He is best known for his work in Parliament-Funkadelic and Funkadelic.
As the brains of Parliament and Funkadelic, George Clinton transformed funk and R&B in general. Clinton, a singer, songwriter, bandleader, and master conceptualist who was versed in gospel, doo wop, and soul, scored his first hit as co-writer and lead vocalist of the Parliaments’ “(I Wanna) Testify” (1967), a fiery if tame precursor to what he and his ever-changing collective unleashed the following decade, highlighted by a clutch of animated and everlasting funk classics that topped the R&B charts. While P-Funk was on hiatus, Clinton went solo with Computer Games (1982), which produced another number one R&B hit, “Atomic Dog,” and led to three more Capitol albums and occasional solo projects with Epic, Paisley Park, and a succession of indie labels over the next three decades. From Digital Underground and Snoop Dogg to OutKast and Kendrick Lamar, his P-Funk and solo records have been sampled countless times, and he has collaborated in the flesh with many of artists whose creativity he has fuelled. Clinton, who was also the driving force behind Parliament-unrivaled Funkadelic’s live show, toured nonstop until 2019, the same year he received the Recording Academy’s Lifetime Achievement Award. If there existed a Mount Rushmore for funk, Clinton would undoubtedly be a part of it, with James Brown and Sly Stone. Given that the P-Funk Mothership landed at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African-American History and Culture, the idea isn’t entirely ridiculous.
Clinton, who was born on July 22, 1941, in Kannapolis, North Carolina, got fascinated in doo wop in the early 1950s while residing in Plainfield, New Jersey. He started the Parliaments, a vocal group, in the back area of a barbershop where he straightened hair, in 1955. The group’s first single, “Poor Willy,” was issued on an ABC subsidiary in 1959. The Parliaments were signed to lesser Detroit labels Golden World and Revilot, and Clinton got a job as a staff writer for Motown publishing wing Jobete after an unsuccessful audition with Motown. Clinton split his time between Plainfield and Detroit, owning and operating the Silk Palace hair salon and grooming the Parliaments at home, all the while co-writing songs like the obscure 1966 pop-soul gem “I’ll Bet You,” which was recorded by Golden World artist Theresa Lindsey, and running the short-lived Marton label to release more of his compositions. The Parliaments peaked in 1967 with the Revilot album “(I Wanna) Testify,” which reached number three on Billboard’s R&B list and number 20 on the mainstream chart. Despite the fact that Clinton was the only Parliaments member present, he reconvened with the group and extended the lineup with a full band of supporting players in order to tour.
The Parliaments were briefly unable to continue under that name due to a legal battle with the insolvent Revilot. Clinton renamed the band Funkadelic and took advantage of the chance for a makeover, putting the instrumentalists front and center and embracing psychedelic rock while maintaining a strong hold on gospel, soul, and funk. Shortly after, Clinton formed Parliament with the same lineup, whose 1970-1972 work for Holland-Dozier-Invictus Holland’s label, which consisted of one album and a handful of singles, was often as boisterous as Funkadelic’s contemporaneous output for Westbound, another Detroit-based indie. Parliament grew more different from Funkadelic (who moved up to major-label Warner Bros.) after signing with the more commercially oriented Los Angeles label Casablanca, preferring a smoother sound accentuated by Fred Wesley’s Horny Horns. Parliament and Funkadelic had a total of 39 charting songs at the end of the 1970s, with the number one R&B hits “Flash Light,” “One Nation Under a Groove,” “(Not Just) Knee Deep,” and “Aqua Boogie (A Psychoalphadiscobetabioaquadoloop”) peaking towards the conclusion of the decade. Through 1979, seven of their albums were certified gold or platinum. Clinton’s extended collective had also spawned groups like U.S. (United Soul), Parlet, and the Brides of Funkenstein, as well as many individual projects, and recycled a few early Clinton songs to freakier effect, including “I’ll Bet You” and “(I Wanna) Testify.”
Legal issues stemming from Polygram’s purchase of Parliament’s label, Casablanca, started to weigh on Clinton. Following dropping the Parliament and Funkadelic moniker after LPs in 1980 and 1981, Clinton signed with Capitol as a solo artist and formed the P-Funk All-Stars around the same time. The Top 20 R&B smash “Loopzilla” and the chart-topping “Atomic Dog” were included on Clinton’s debut solo album, Computer Games, released in 1982. From 1983 through 1986, Clinton recorded three additional albums for Capitol, You Shouldn’t-Nuf Bit Fish, Some of My Best Jokes Are Friends, and R&B Skeletons in the Closet, and returned to the R&B Top 20 with “Nubian Nut” and “Do Fries Go with That Shake?” P-Funk All-Stars released a pair of independent singles and an album via CBS around the same time period, while Clinton produced Red Hot Chili Peppers’ Freaky Styley. Clinton was on both sides of legal battles over royalties and copyright problems throughout the rest of the 1980s (and again in the following decades). Some of Clinton’s colleagues were unhappy with their pay, which was compounded by the huge number of recordings for multiple labels, as well as other reasons leading to disarray. Clinton alleged that his signature was forged on a contract giving Bridgeport, the music publishing firm founded by Westbound founder Armen Boladian, the rights to over 150 of his compositions. This was especially damaging for Clinton since rap artists were sampling Parliament and Funkadelic tunes in growing numbers.
MCA released “By Way of the Drum” towards the end of the 1980s, a single attributed to Funkadelic and produced by Clinton and Jeff Lorber. (An album with a similar title, produced between 1983 and 1985, was shelved but released by Hip-O Select in 2007.) Clinton also signed with Prince’s Paisley Park label, releasing two solo albums, The Cinderella Theory in 1989 and Hey Man…Smell My Finger in 1993, for the Warner Bros.-distributed label. After the low-profile George Clinton & the P-Funk All-Stars album Dope Dogs and several indie efforts, Clinton joined Epic’s 550 Music label, where he released T.A.P.O.A.F.O.M. in 1996. (standing for “the awesome power of a fully operational mothership”). Clinton and the P-Funk All-Stars were active performers during this period, performing for several generations of funk fans as well as reaching younger rock fans as part of early Lollapalooza lineups. In 1997, Parliament-Funkadelic was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and Kirk Franklin’s “Stomp,” a cover of “One Nation Under a Groove,” was nominated for a Grammy for Best Rhythm & Blues Song, giving Clinton his first Grammy nomination. The huge number of different followers who included Clinton on songs throughout the 1990s was another indication of P-continuing Funk’s influence. Snoop Dogg, Ice Cube, Primal Scream, 2Pac, and OutKast make for a tiny portion of the total.
Full-length Clinton projects in the 2000s and 2010s were restricted to one album each from the P-Funk All-Stars and the resurrected Parliament and Funkadelic, owing to licensing issues. As a headliner, Clinton released George Clinton & His Gangsters of Love in 2008. Regardless of how each album was marketed, they were all true P-Funk, supervised by Clinton and a mix of old and new collaborators. Clinton continues to work with a wide range of musicians and was nominated for a second Grammy for his initial role on Kendrick Lamar’s To Pimp a Butterfly, which was nominated for Album of the Year. Clinton and Parliament-Funkadelic received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Recording Academy in 2019, the same year he withdrew from touring.
George Clinton is an American musician, singer, songwriter, record producer and arranger. He was the lead singer of Parliament-Funkadelic during much of that band’s existence. Reference: george clinton children.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is George Clintons most famous song?
George Clintons most famous song is Atomic Dog
What musicians played with both James Brown and George Clinton?
James Brown and George Clinton were both musicians who played with each other.
Who is George Clintons wife?
His wife is named Lillie Mae.
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