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Tue, 07.22.1941

George Clinton, Singer, Lyricist, and Bandleader born

George Clinton

*George Clinton was born on this date in 1941.  He is a Black singer, songwriter, bandleader, and record producer.

George Edward Clinton was born in Kannapolis, North Carolina, and grew up in Plainfield, New Jersey.  During his teen years, Clinton formed a doo-wop group called The Parliaments while doing hair at a barber salon in Plainfield. The barbershop on 216 Plainfield Avenue was known as "Silk Palace." Owned in part by Clinton, various members of Parliament-Funkadelic staffed it and was a "hangout for all the local singers and musicians" in Plainfield's doo-wop, soul, rock, and proto-punk music scene. 

In the 1960s, Clinton was a staff songwriter for Motown. Despite initial commercial failure and one major hit single, ("(I Wanna) Testify."  He eventually succeeded under the names Parliament and Funkadelic in the 1970s.  These two bands combined the elements of musicians such as Jimi Hendrix, Sly and the Family Stone, Frank Zappa, and James Brown while exploring various sounds, technology, and lyricism. Clinton and Parliament-Funkadelic dominated diverse music during the 1970s, with over 40 R&B hit singles (including three number-ones) and three platinum albums.   From 1971 to late 1973, Clinton and several other members settled in Toronto. During their years in Toronto, He, Bernie Worrell, and others honed their live show and recorded the album America Eats Its Young, their first to feature Bootsy Collins. 

In the 1980s, Clinton's career was marred by multiple legal problems. In 1982, Clinton was signed to Capitol Records under two names: his own as a solo artist and as the P-Funk All-Stars, releasing Computer Games under his name that same year.  The single "Loopzilla" hit the Top 20 on the R&B charts, followed by "Atomic Dog," which reached #1 R&B and #101 on the pop chart.  He is also a notable music producer.  In 1987, Clinton was recruited to write the theme song for The Tracey Ullman Show, "You're Thinking Right."   

In 1989, Clinton released The Cinderella Theory on Paisley Park, Prince's record label. Hey Man, I followed this, Smell My Finger, in 1993. Clinton signed with Sony 550 and released T.A.P.O.A.F.O.M. (The Awesome Power of a Fully Operational Mothership) in 1996.   1994, Clinton contributed to several tracks on Primal Scream's studio album Give Out But Don't Give Up. In 1995, Clinton sang "Mind Games" on the John Lennon tribute Working Class Hero.   Clinton appeared in films such as Graffiti Bridge (1990), House Party (1990), PCU (1994), Good Burger (1997), and The Breaks (1999). In 1997 he appeared as himself in the Cartoon Network show Space Ghost Coast to Coast.

He also appeared as the voice of The Funktipus, the funk radio station Bounce FM DJ in the 2004 video game Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, in which his song "Loopzilla" also appeared.  Clinton founded a record label called The C Kunspyruhzy in 2003. He appeared in "Where Were We?", the season two premiere of the television sitcom How I Met Your Mother, on September 18, 2006.   In 2009, Clinton was awarded the Urban Icon Award from Broadcast Music Incorporated and was inducted into the North Carolina Music Hall of Fame.  In May 2012, Clinton was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Music from Berklee College of Music. During the commencement concert, Clinton joined the college's P-Funk Ensemble to perform hits like “Testify,” “Give Up the Funk,” and “One Nation Under a Groove."

He also appears with Kendrick Lamar on the song "Wesley's Theory" from the album To Pimp a Butterfly.  In April 2018, Clinton announced that he would retire from touring in May 2019. Billboard reported that Clinton had recently undergone pacemaker surgery, but he said that was not a factor in his decision.  In December 2018, the Recording Academy announced that Clinton and Parliament-Funkadelic would be given Lifetime Achievement Awards.  He married Stephanie Lynn Clinton in 1990. In February 2013, he filed for divorce. Clinton is married to Carlon Thompson-Clinton, his manager of over ten years. On February 1, 2010, Clinton's 50-year-old son, George Clinton, Jr., was found dead in his Florida home. According to police, he died of natural causes and had been dead for several days. Clinton resides in Tallahassee, Florida, and was inducted as an honorary member of Omega Psi Phi on July 30, 2020.  

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