Former Parliament-Funkadelic Vocalist Dead at 79

Calvin Simon, the former vocalist of George ClintonThe funk pioneer collective ParliamentFunkadelic, died. He is 79 years old.

“Rest in peace my P-Funk brother Mr. Calvin Simon,” Clinton wrote in a Facebook post. “Come on Calvin!”

“We lost another original member of Parliament/Funkadelic,” bassist Bootsy Collins wrote on Twitter, describing Simon as “a friend, bandmate and a cool classic guy.”

Calvin Eugene Simon was born on May 22, 1942, in Beckley, West Virginia, where he grew up singing in his local church choir. After moving to New Jersey, Simon hit it off with Clinton, who eventually joined a doo-wop group called The Parliaments in the late 1950s. He sang many of the band’s first hits such as “I Can Feel the Ice Melting,” “Heart Trouble,” and “I Wanna Testify.”

Simon was drafted for the Vietnam War in the mid-’60s, and rejoined The Parliaments in 1968 after two years of service. He continued to sing with The Parliaments for about a decade, having previously been Parliament-Funkadelic.

Above all, Simon provided vocals on Parliament’s 1975 album Mother Connection, featuring some of the band’s most popular funk standards including “Give Up the Funk,” “Unfunky UFO,” and “P-Funk (Wants to Get Funked Up).” Simon would occasionally reunite with his former P-Funk bandmates after his departure, and they were all inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1997.

Simon eventually returned to making gospel music on his own record label, Simon Says. In 2004, he released a solo album called Share the News, which is well done with Billboard Gospel charts. His last album was 2016 It’s not too late at all.

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