Skip to content

George Clinton receives a star on Hollywood Blvd.


Legendary master of funk music

A star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame has been unveiled honoring George Clinton, the mastermind of the Parliament-Funkadelic collective for his contributions to funk music.

Red Hot Chili Peppers lead vocalist Anthony Kiedis, famed civil rights attorney Ben Crump and longtime Motown songwriter Janie Bradford joined Clinton at the Jan. 19 ceremony in front of the Musicians Institute, where many of the new Walk of Fame stars from the music industry are placed.

Born July 22, 1941, in Kannapolis, NC and reared in Plainfield, NJ, Clinton formed the barbershop doo-wop ensemble The Parliaments when he was 15 years old. It scored a major hit in 1967 with “(I Wanna) Testify.”

When Clinton temporarily lost the rights to the name The Parliaments during a contractual dispute with Revilot Records in 1968, he formed Funkadelic, a rock group that fused acid-rock guitar, bizarre sound effects and cosmological rants with danceable beats and booming bass lines.

Funkadelic had several influential concept albums, including “Free Your Mind... and Your Ass Will Follow,” released in 1970, “Maggot Brain,” released in 1971, and “America Eats Its Young,” released in 1972. After regaining the rights to name The Parliaments, Clinton formed Parliament in 1970, with the same five singers and five musicians as Funkadelic but as a smoother R&B-based funk ensemble.

Some of Clinton’s most popular songs include “P-Funk (Wants to Get Funked Up),” “Mothership Connection (Star Child),” “Give Up the Funk (Tear the Roof Off the Sucker),” “Flash Light,” “One Nation Under a Groove,” “(Not Just) Knee Deep,” and “Aqua Boogie,” eventually culminating with the 1982 solo release of “Atomic Dog.”

“Atomic Dog” has been featured in such films as “102 Dalmatians,” “Trolls World Tour” and “Menace II Society” and sampled many times, most notably by Snoop Dogg on his smash-hit “Snoop Dogg (What’s My Name Pt. 2).”

Clinton is also known for otherworldly live performances where he would emerge from a giant spaceship, “The Mothership,” at center stage as “Dr. Funkenstein.” Clinton was also musical director for “The Tracey Ullman Show” in 1987.

Parliament-Funkadelic became a source for early rap recordings, with its beats, loops and samples appearing on albums by 2Pac, OutKast, Dr. Dre, Busta Rhymes, Missy Elliott, De La Soul, Ice Cube, Public Enemy and Childish Gambino.

Clinton collaborated with Kendrick Lamar on the rapper’s 2015 Grammy-winning album “To Pimp a Butterfly.”

Parliament-Funkadelic was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1997.