George Clinton (musician)

George Edward Clinton[3] (born July 22, 1941) is an American singer, songwriter, bandleader, and record producer. His Parliament-Funkadelic collective (which primarily recorded under the distinct band names Parliament and Funkadelic) developed an influential and eclectic form of funk music during the 1970s that drew on science-fiction, outlandish fashion, psychedelic culture, and surreal humor.[4] He launched a solo career in 1981, and would go on to influence 1990s hip-hop and G-funk.[2] He is regarded, along with James Brown and Sly Stone, as one of the foremost innovators of funk music. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1997, alongside 15 other members of Parliament-Funkadelic. In 2019, he and Parliament-Funkadelic will be given Grammy Lifetime Achievement Awards.

George Clinton
George Clinton performing in 2015
Clinton performing in Auckland, New Zealand 2015
Background information
Birth nameGeorge Edward Clinton
BornJuly 22, 1941 (age 77)
Kannapolis, North Carolina, U.S.
Occupation(s)Singer, songwriter, record producer
Years active1955–present
Associated acts



Clinton was born in Kannapolis, North Carolina, grew up in Plainfield, New Jersey, and currently resides in Tallahassee, Florida. During his teen years Clinton formed a doo-wop group inspired by Frankie Lymon & the Teenagers called The Parliaments, while straightening hair at a barber salon in Plainfield.

The West End of Plainfield, New Jersey was once home to the Silk Palace, a barbershop at 216 Plainfield Avenue owned in part by Clinton, staffed by various members of Parliament-Funkadelic and known as the "hangout for all the local singers and musicians" in Plainfield's 1950s and 1960s doo-wop, soul, rock and proto-funk music scene.[5][6][7]

1960s and 1970s

For a period in the 1960s Clinton was a staff songwriter for Motown. Despite initial commercial failure and one major hit single, ("(I Wanna) Testify" in 1967), as well as arranging and producing scores of singles on many of the independent Detroit soul music labels, The Parliaments eventually found success under the names Parliament and Funkadelic in the 1970s (see also P-Funk). 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 of the band settled in Toronto. During the years in Toronto, they honed their live show and recorded the album America Eats Its Young, which was their first to feature Bootsy Collins.


Clinton's efforts as a solo artist began in 1982. He is also a notable music producer who works on almost all the albums he performs on, and has produced albums for Bootsy Collins and Red Hot Chili Peppers, among others. Beginning in the early 1980s, Clinton recorded several nominal solo albums, although all of these records featured contributions from P-Funk's core musicians. The primary reason for recording under his own name was legal difficulties, due to the complex copyright and trademark issues surrounding the name "Parliament" (primarily) and Polygram's purchase of that group's former label Casablanca Records.

In 1982, Clinton 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 own name that same year.[2] 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.[2] In the next four years, Clinton released three more studio albums (You Shouldn't-Nuf Bit Fish, Some of My Best Jokes Are Friends, and R&B Skeletons in the Closet) as well as a live album, Mothership Connection (Live from the Summit, Houston, Texas) and charting three singles in the R&B Top 30, "Nubian Nut", "Last Dance", and "Do Fries Go with That Shake?". This period of Clinton's career was marred by multiple legal problems (resulting in financial difficulties) due to complex royalty and copyright issues, notably with Bridgeport Music, who Clinton claims fraudulently obtained the copyrights to many of his recordings.[8]

In 1985, he was recruited by the Red Hot Chili Peppers to produce their album Freaky Styley, because the band members were huge fans of George Clinton's and of funk in general. Clinton, in fact, wrote the vocals and lyrics to the title track which was originally intended by the band to be left as an instrumental piece. The album was not a commercial success at the time, but has since sold 500,000 copies after the Red Hot Chili Peppers became popular years later.

During the mid to late 1980's, many hip-hop and rap artists cited Clinton's earlier music as an influence. Along with James Brown, Clinton's songs with Parliament-Funkadelic were often sampled by rap producers.[9] "Sure, sample my stuff…" he remarked in 1996. "Ain't a better time to get paid than when you're my age. You know what to do with money. You don't buy as much pussy or drugs with it – you just buy some."[10]

In 1989, Clinton released The Cinderella Theory on Paisley Park, Prince's record label. This was followed by Hey Man, Smell My Finger in 1993. Clinton then signed with Sony 550 and released T.A.P.O.A.F.O.M. (The Awesome Power of a Fully Operational Mothership) in 1996, having reunited with several former members of Parliament and Funkadelic.

1990s to 2000s

George Clinton at Pori Jazz 2014
George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic performing at Pori Jazz 2014 in Finland.

1994 saw Clinton contribute 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. In the 1990s, 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. Clinton also appeared as the voice of The Funktipus, the DJ of the Funk radio station Bounce FM in the 2004 video game, Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, in which his song "Loopzilla" also appeared.

Rapper Dr. Dre sampled most of Clinton's beats to create his G-Funk music era. In 1999, Clinton collaborated with Lil' Kim, Fred Durst, and Mix Master Mike for Methods of Mayhem's single "Get Naked".

Displaying his influence on rap and hip hop, Clinton also worked with Tupac Shakur on the song "Can't C Me" from the album All Eyez on Me; Ice Cube on the song and video for "Bop Gun (One Nation)" on the Lethal Injection album (which sampled Funkadelic's earlier hit "One Nation Under A Groove"); Outkast on the song "Synthesizer" from the album Aquemini; Redman on the song "J.U.M.P." from the album Malpractice; Souls of Mischief on "Mama Knows Best" from the album Trilogy: Conflict, Climax, Resolution; Killah Priest on "Come With me" from the album Priesthood; the Wu Tang Clan on "Wolves" from the album 8 Diagrams.

Clinton founded a record label called The C Kunspyruhzy in 2003. He had a cameo appearance in "Where Were We?", the season two premiere of the CBS television sitcom How I Met Your Mother, on September 18, 2006.

Clinton wrote "You're Thinking Right", the theme song for The Tracey Ullman Show. He appeared on the intro to Snoop Dogg's Tha Blue Carpet Treatment album, released in 2007. Clinton was also a judge for the 5th annual Independent Music Awards to support independent artists' careers.[11]

On September 16, 2008, Clinton released a solo album, George Clinton and His Gangsters of Love on Shanachie Records. Largely a covers album, Gangsters features guest appearances from Sly Stone, El DeBarge, Red Hot Chili Peppers, RZA, Carlos Santana, gospel singer Kim Burrell and more.[12]

On September 10, 2009, George Clinton was awarded the Urban Icon Award from Broadcast Music Incorporated.[13] The ceremony featured former P-Funk associate Bootsy Collins, as well contemporary performers such as Big Boi from Outkast and Cee-Lo Green from Goodie Mob.

Also in 2009, Clinton was inducted into the North Carolina Music Hall of Fame.[14]


On March 7, 2010, Clinton voiced a colorful blob alien version of himself in T-Pain's Adult Swim television movie Freaknik: The Musical.

In May 2012, Clinton was awarded an Honorary Doctorate 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 was accompanied by longtime horn players Bennie Cowan and Greg Thomas.[15]

Clinton was a guest star in Odd Future's television show Loiter Squad on Adult Swim in 2013.

On June 27, 2015, Clinton joined Mark Ronson, Mary J. Blige and Grandmaster Flash on stage at the Glastonbury Festival to perform Ronson's hit Uptown Funk.[16] Clinton also appears with Kendrick Lamar on the song "Wesley's Theory" from the album To Pimp a Butterfly.

Clinton and the Parliament Funkadelic are slated to headline the seventh annual Treefort Music Fest in Boise, Idaho in 2018.[17] The release of a new Parliament album, Medicaid Fraud Dogg, was announced in March 2018. It was released May 22.

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.[18] He indicated that he expected Parliament-Funkadelic would continue to tour without him, saying "Truth be told, it's never really been about me. It's always been about the music and the band. That's the real P-Funk legacy. They'll still be funkin' long after I stop." Earlier in 2018, he told Rolling Stone that he had made a hologram, suggesting that the band could "have it start performing in Vegas".[19]

In December 2018, the Recording Academy announced that Clinton and Parliament-Funkadelic would be given Lifetime Achievement Awards. The awards will be presented on May 11, 2019.[20][21][22]

In 2019 they played the halftime show of the CFB national championship with Imagine Dragons.

Personal life

On February 1, 2010, Clinton's son, George Clinton, Jr., was found dead in his Florida home. According to police, he had been dead for several days and died of natural causes.[23]

Clinton married Stephanie Lynn Clinton in 1990. In February 2013, after 22 years of marriage, he filed for divorce.[24]


George Clinton Nighttown
George Clinton performing in The Netherlands.
George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic performing in Waterfront Park, Louisville, Kentucky on July 4th, 2008
George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic performing at Waterfront Park, in Louisville, Kentucky, July 4, 2008
George Clinton 2006
George Clinton performing live in Texas.
P-Funk All Stars
George Clinton in Long Beach 2009
George Clinton in Centreville
Clinton performing in Centreville, Virginia, 2007

Studio albums

Year Album information Peak chart positions
1982 Computer Games 40 3
1983 You Shouldn't-Nuf Bit Fish
  • Released:
  • Label: Capitol Records
  • Format:
102 18
1985 Some of My Best Jokes Are Friends
  • Released:
  • Label: Capitol Records
  • Format:
163 17
1986 R&B Skeletons in the Closet
  • Released:
  • Label: Capitol Records
  • Format:
81 17
1989 The Cinderella Theory 192 75
1993 Hey Man, Smell My Finger
  • Released:
  • Label: Paisley Park Records
  • Format:
145 31
Dope Dogs
  • Released:
  • Label: XYZ
  • Format:
1996 T.A.P.O.A.F.O.M. 121
2005 How Late Do U Have 2BB4UR Absent?
  • Released: September 6, 2005
  • Label: The C Kunspyruhzy
  • Format: CD
2008 George Clinton and His Gangsters of Love
  • Released: September 16, 2008
  • Label: Shanachie
  • Format: CD
"—" denotes releases that did not chart.

Live albums

Year Album information
1976 The Mothership Connection – Live from Houston
1990 Live at the Beverly Theater
1995 Mothership Connection Newberg Session
  • Released:
  • Label: P-Vine
  • Format:
2004 500,000 Kilowatts of P-Funk Power (Live)
  • Released:
  • Label: Fruit Tree
  • Format:
2006 Take It To The Stage (Live)
  • Released:
  • Label: Music Avenue
  • Format:
2015 P-Funk Live at Metropolis
  • Released: July 31, 2015
  • Label: Metropolis
  • Format: Vinyl, CD, DVD

Family Series albums

Year Title Label
1992 Go Fer Yer Funk Nocturne
Plush Funk Nocturne
1993 P Is the Funk Nocturne
Testing Positive 4 the Funk AEM
A Fifth of Funk AEM
1995 The Best (compilation) P-Vine


Year Album information
1988 Atomic Clinton! (EP)
1990 Atomic Dog (EP)
  • Released:
  • Label: Capitol Records
  • Format:

Solo singles

Year Title Peak chart positions Album
US Dance UK
1982 "Loopzilla" 19 48 57 Computer Games
"Atomic Dog" 1 38 94
1983 "Nubian Nut" 15 You Shouldn't-Nuf Bit Fish
1986 "Do Fries Go with That Shake?" 13 57 R&B Skeletons in the Closet
"R&B Skeletons (In the Closet)"
1989 "Why Should I Dog You Out?" The Cinderella Theory
1993 "Paint The White House Black" Hey Man, Smell My Finger
"Martial Law"
1996 "If Anybody Gets Funked Up (It's Gonna Be You)" (as George Clinton & the P-Funk All-Stars) 13 97 T.A.P.O.A.F.O.M.
"—" denotes releases that did not chart.



  1. ^ Lauren Cochrane, "George Clinton: the best dressed man in music", The Guardian, June 23, 2008.
  2. ^ a b c d Bush, John (1940-07-22). "George Clinton - Music Biography, Credits and Discography". AllMusic. Retrieved 2012-09-25.
  3. ^ Gulla, Bob (2008). "George Clinton". Icons of R&B and Soul: An Encyclopedia of the Artists Who Revolutionized Rhythm. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press. p. 441. ISBN 978-0-313-34044-4.
  4. ^ Bush, John. "Parliament -Biography & History". AllMusic. Retrieved 26 January 2018.
  5. ^ George Clinton And Killer Mike: Talking (Barber) Shop
  6. ^ Sammy Campbell and the Del Larks - Classic Urban Harmony. by T Ashley. The story of the Del Larks revolves around the extensive music careers of two individuals; Sammy. Campbell and Ron Taylor.
  7. ^ "George Clinton and the Parliaments – (Part One of Two) – Rock 'n' Roll Spotlight".
  8. ^ Mike Masnick, "George Clinton Explains How Bridgeport Allegedly Faked Documents To Get His Music Rights", Techdirt, June 17, 2011.
  9. ^ GOLD, JONATHAN (1989-09-16). "Funky George Clinton and Crew Are Back". Los Angeles Times. ISSN 0458-3035. Retrieved 2015-10-04.
  10. ^ Q, 1996, precise date unknown.
  11. ^ "Past Judges". Independent Music Awards. Archived from the original on July 13, 2011. Retrieved 2012-09-25.
  12. ^ Graff, Gary (2008-06-27). "George Clinton Goes 'Gangster' On New Album".
  13. ^ "BMI Honors George Clinton, T-Pain, Lil Wayne and Many More at Urban Awards in New York". Broadcast Music Incorporated. September 10, 2009. Retrieved September 7, 2010.
  14. ^ "2009 Inductees". North Carolina Music Hall of Fame. Retrieved September 10, 2012.
  15. ^ "George Clinton Accepts Honorary Doctor of Music Degree at Berklee",, February 17, 2017.
  16. ^ "Mark Ronson at Glastonbury 2015 review – saving the best for last". The Guardian. Guardian News and Media Limited. Retrieved June 28, 2015.
  17. ^ Sacher, Andrew (2017-12-07). "Treefort Music Fest 2018 initial lineup". Brooklyn Vegan. Retrieved 2017-12-07.
  18. ^ Mitchell, Gail (April 27, 2018). "Funk Icon George Clinton to Retire from Touring: Exclusive". Billboard. Retrieved May 13, 2018.
  19. ^ Kreps, Daniel (April 27, 2018). "George Clinton to Retire From Touring in 2019". Rolling Stone. Retrieved May 13, 2018.
  20. ^ Hertweck, Nate (December 19, 2018). "Dionne Warwick, Donny Hathaway & More To Receive Special Merit Awards". The Recording Academy. Retrieved January 6, 2019.
  21. ^ Aniftos, Rania (December 19, 2018). "Black Sabbath, George Clinton & Parliament-Funkadelic Among Recording Academy Lifetime Achievement Award Recipients". Billboard. Retrieved January 6, 2019.
  22. ^ Grow, Kory (December 19, 2018). "Black Sabbath, George Clinton to Get Lifetime Achievement Grammys". Rolling Stone. Retrieved January 6, 2019.
  23. ^ "Two Deaths in the George Clinton Family: George Clinton Jr. & Mahlia Franklin". 2010-02-08. Archived from the original on 2012-09-27. Retrieved 2012-09-25.
  24. ^ "GEORGE CLINTON TO WIFE Go Funk Yourself ... I Filed for DIVORCE". TMZ. Retrieved 23 February 2013.

Further reading

External links

Computer Games (album)

Computer Games is the debut album by funk musician George Clinton, released by Capitol Records on November 5, 1982. Though technically Clinton's first "solo" album, the record featured most of the same personnel who had appeared on recent albums by Parliament and Funkadelic, both formally disbanded by Clinton in 1981. Conceived in the aftermath of a period marked by financial and personal struggles for Clinton, "Computer Games" restored his popularity for a short time before P-Funk fell victim to renewed legal problems and scant label support in the mid 1980s.

According to Glenn Kenny of Trouser Press, after the end of his Parliament-Funkadelic collective, Clinton's album was titled as a "nod to the burgeoning wave of techno-funk that was beginning to overtake almost every other form of dance music; rather than reject the new technology, he adapted it here in his own unique way".The single "Loopzilla" hit the Top 20 R&B charts, followed by "Atomic Dog" which reached #1 R&B but peaked at #101 on the pop chart.

The album was listed by Slant Magazine at #97 on its list of "Best Albums of the 1980s."

Dope Dogs

Dope Dogs is a 1994 album by Parliament-Funkadelic/P-Funk All Stars. The album was first released on the P-Vine label in Japan. It was later released on the Hot Hands label in the United Kingdom. The United States release on the Dogone Records label, a custom label of Available Entertainment, was released under the name George Clinton and the P-Funk All-Stars. The U.S. version was remastered by David Libert of Available Entertainment. The album's theme deals with dope-sniffing dogs that become addicted to the very drugs that they are assigned to find.

George Clinton and His Gangsters of Love

George Clinton and His Gangsters of Love is a cover album by funk music pioneer George Clinton. The album includes guest appearances from the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Sly Stone, El DeBarge, System of a Down bassist Shavo Odadjian, Carlos Santana, RZA, Kim Manning and gospel singer Kim Burrell. The disc was released on September 16, 2008.Some suggest the title of the album may actually be Radio Friendly, and that "George Clinton and Some Gangsters of Love" may be credited as the artist for the album. The album has also been referred to as Any Percentage of You Is As Good as the Whole Pie, although that may refer to another P-Funk album to be released later.It features the last song recorded by the Red Hot Chili Peppers with guitarist John Frusciante.

Hey, Man, Smell My Finger

Hey, Man, Smell My Finger is the sixth studio album by American funk musician George Clinton, released October 12, 1993 on Paisley Park Records. It is Clinton's second and last release for the Paisley Park label, owned by Prince. The album features an array of musical guests including Prince, Dallas Austin, Humpty Hump from Digital Underground, Ice Cube, N'Dea Davenport, Dr. Dre, and Herbie Hancock, as well P-Funk alumni including Bootsy Collins, Bernie Worrell, Maceo Parker, and Fred Wesley. Hey, Man, Smell My Finger furthers Clinton's incorporation of hip hop elements such as electronically produced beats, rapping by Clinton, and sampling of older P-Funk material.The album was acclaimed by most music critics and was followed by a supporting tour. The New Yorker called it "a funny, psychedelic, intricate collection of grooves and insights." It went out of print soon after Paisley Park Records folded in late 1993.

Live...Capitol Theatre 1978

Live...Capitol Theatre 1978 is a three-CD live album by the American funk band Parliament-Funkadelic. The album was released in the UK in November 2017 by the RoxVox label. The CD features the band performing at the Capitol Theatre in Passaic, New Jersey, on November 6, 1978, during their "One Nation/Anti-Tour". The liner notes feature a transcription of a December 7, 1978 article about Parliament-Funkadelic from Jet magazine.

Mothership Connection Newberg Session

Mothership Connection Newberg Session is a live album by George Clinton and Parliament-Funkadelic. It was recorded in Hangar E at Stewart Airfield in Newburgh, New York on September 26, 1976 during the rehearsals for the P-Funk Earth Tour. The live album was released by P-Vine Records in Japan on December 25, 1995.

One song that was recorded during the rehearsal, "Cosmic Slop," was released in 1976 on the Funkadelic album Hardcore Jollies. Another song from the rehearsal, "Tear The Roof Off The Sucker Medley," was released in 1977 on Parliament's Live: P-Funk Earth Tour, bolstered by canned audience responses. These two tracks were not included on the Mothership Connection Newberg Session album. The two songs in the final track on Mothership Connection Newberg Session, "Maggot Brain"/"Good To Your Earhole," were recorded during the 1993 P-Funk All-Stars concert in Japan. Despite being heavily sought by collectors, Mothership Connection Newberg Session has never been released outside Japan.


R (named ar/or ) is the 18th letter of the modern English alphabet and the ISO basic Latin alphabet.

Some of My Best Jokes Are Friends

Some of My Best Jokes Are Friends is the third studio album by George Clinton. It was released in 1985 by Capitol Records. Though it wasn't as successful as Computer Games, Clinton's first solo album, Some of My Best Jokes Are Friends received favorable reviews among critics. While many former P-Funk musicians are featured on the album, it also features collaborations with more contemporary performers such as Doug Wimbish, Steve Washington, and keyboardist Thomas Dolby.

Some of My Best Jokes Are Friends employs various producers from the P-Funk musical collective, including Clinton, Garry Shider, Washington, Bootsy Collins, Junie Morrison, Clinton's son Tracy Lewis, Wimbish, and Dolby.

The Cinderella Theory

The Cinderella Theory is the fifth studio album by American funk musician George Clinton, released August 2, 1989 on Paisley Park Records. It was released three years after his previous studio effort, R&B Skeletons in the Closet, which was his last album for Capitol Records. The Cinderella Theory represented a comeback of sorts for Clinton, who had been largely absent from the pop music scene since his last album for Capitol. The album was produced by Clinton for Baby Clinton Inc.

The Mothership Connection – Live from Houston

The Mothership Connection — Live from Houston is an album by George Clinton and Parliament-Funkadelic. It was released on the Capitol Records label in the spring of 1986.

The Mothership Connection — Live from Houston is divided evenly between studio and live performances. Side one consists of a live recording made at a concert at The Summit in Houston, Texas, on October 31, 1976. Side two is made up of previously released material from Clinton's solo albums, including the hit single "Atomic Dog".

In conjunction with the release of The Mothership Connection — Live from Houston, a videotape of the live performance was released. The video also included music videos for several studio tracks. The live performance was released in its entirety in 1998 by Pioneer Artists.

Undercova Funk (Give Up the Funk)

"Undercova Funk (Give Up the Funk)" is a song by American rapper Snoop Dogg featuring Mr. Kane, Bootsy Collins, Quaze and Fred Wesley. Was released on May 2002 as the single for the soundtrack to the 2002 film Undercover Brother with the record label Hollywood Records.

Woof (song)

"Woof" is a song by American rapper Snoop Dogg featuring Fiend and Mystikal. was released on October 26, 1998 as the second and final single of his third studio album Da Game Is to Be Sold, Not to Be Told, with the record labels No Limit Records and Priority Records. The song was produced by Craig B and Master P.

You Shouldn't-Nuf Bit Fish

You Shouldn't-Nuf Bit Fish is the second studio album by American funk musician George Clinton. The album was released by Capitol Records in 1983, during the same week that the CBS Associated Label released Urban Dancefloor Guerillas by the P-Funk All-Stars. The P-Funk live concert tour of 1984 concentrated on tracks featured on both albums. You Shouldn't-Nuf Bit Fish expands on the R&B and dance style of Clinton's debut album, Computer Games (1982), and it incorporates elements of rock with a more mainstream sound.

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