Calvin Simon, who was a founding member of Parliament-Funkadelic and a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, has passed away. He was 79 years old.
“We lost another original Member of Parliament / Funkadelic,” Bootsy Collins wrote on Instagram on Friday (Jan 7), confirming Simon’s death. “A friend, bandmate and a great classic kid, Mr. Calvin Simon was a former Member of Parliament / Funkadelic. He’s in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, inducted in 1997 with fifteen P-Funk members! RIP Bootsy baby !!! “
“Rest in peace with my brother P-Funk, Mr. Calvin Simon,” read a post on George Clinton’s Facebook page. “Parliament-Funkadelic vocalist for a long time. Fly with Calvin! “
The cause of Simon’s death has not been reported.
Born in 1942 in West Virginia, where he sang with his church choir, Simon moved to New Jersey with his family as a teenager.
He worked as a barber, and in the late 1950s, Simon joined the group originally known as Parliaments, first formed as a doo-wop quintet with fellow barbers George Clinton and Grady Thomas and clients Ray Davis and Fuzzy. Haskins.
Simon, who was recruited in 1967 to serve in Vietnamese, went on to sing with the group that would later become known as Parliament-Funkadelic. He eventually parted ways with the group due to financial disputes.
“What means the most to me is how I have handled PTSD since my service in the Vietnam War,” he said in a statement posted on his website. “I was able to keep the genie in the bottle, so to speak, and I didn’t allow bad thoughts to break through and manifest into action. Instead, I found my faith and relied on the higher power to carry me through. “
Along with other members of Parliament-Funkadelic, Simon was inducted by Prince into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1997.
“Funk is a force that broke the roof of the fool that is modern music,” Prince said in his introduction to Rock Hall.
Most recently, Simon recorded gospel music under his Simon Sayz label, releasing the album. Share the news in 2004, when he was diagnosed and treated for thyroid cancer.
“It was initially a shock, as it took my voice off,” Simon recalled in an excerpt posted on his website. “It was while I was preparing for a tour to promote my first Christian album, Share the news (which had just hit number 21 on the Billboard Gospel Albums chart) when I realized there was a problem. Since the cancer was in the thyroid against my vocal cords, I was sure my music career was over and at this point I turned away from music. Apparently God had other plans and he had enough foresight to know that he needed to be home right now. “
He went on to release two more gospel projects, 2016 It’s not too late in 2018 I think.
“There was such a positive message and vibe to Parliament-Funkadelic’s original music that it was conveyed in a fun way. True music, true arrangements, pure joy. I think long-term fans will re-engage with that side of music, ”he noted of his gospel releases. “New fans can experience my version of gospel music, which I call ‘Sanctified Funk’!”