The funkmaster George Clinton informed the world of the passing of legendary Parliament-Funkadelic singer Clarence Eugene “Fuzzy” Haskins. He was 81.

The West Virginia-born Haskins first came of note as the lead singer of The Parliaments, Clinton’s doo-wop group that hit the charts with “(I Wanna) Testify” and became the predecessor to the iconic Parliament-Funkadelic funk music machine (with the singers generally being referred to as Parliament and the backing band being referred to as Funkadelic).

At the time of the group’s transition to funk pioneers in the early 70s, Haskins took on a significant role as both a singer and songwriter. He remained part of the burgeoning group until 1977, when he left due to a financial dispute.

Haskins’ departure coincided with the beginning of a solo career for him. He released A Whole Nother Thing in 1976 on Detroit’s Westbound label with a host of P-Funk members as backing musicians. He followed two years later with Radio Active. Neither album achieved the success of his P-Funk work, but both have maintained their heightened status as solid early funk projects.

In the 1980s, Haskins also formed a parallel universe version of Funkadelic with other former P-Funk members, and later formed a similar act, Original P, largely consisting of P-Funk alums.

While it has been nearly a half century since Fuzzy Haskins departed from Parliament-Funkadelic, he was a key contributor to some of the most innovative and influential funk albums of our time – music that will be revered for years to come. Rest in peace.