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 Friday (January 7), confirming Simon’s death. “A friend, band member and classic cool guy, Mr. Calvin Simon was a former Member of Parliament / Funkadelic. He is at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, inducted in 1997 with fifteen members of P-Funk! RIP Bootsy baby !!! ”
“Rest in peace to my brother P-Funk, Mr. Calvin Simon”, an article on George Clinton Facebook page noted. Longtime Parliament-Funkadelic singer. Fly on Calvin!
Simon’s cause of 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 the Vietman, continued to sing with the group which later became known as Parliament-Funkadelic. He eventually split from the group due to financial disputes.
“What matters most to me is the way I have handled PTSD from my service in the Vietnam War,” he said in a statement on his website. “I was able to keep the genie in the bottle, so to speak, and I did not allow bad thoughts to break through and manifest into actions. Instead, I found my faith and leaned on the Higher Power to help me. “
Along with other members of Parliament-Funkadelic, Simon was enthroned by the prince in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1997.
“Funk is a force that has ripped the roof off the sucker that is modern music,” Prince said in his introduction to Rock Hall.
Most recently, Simon recorded gospel music under his label Simon Sayz, releasing the album Share the news in 2004, when he was diagnosed and treated for thyroid cancer.
“At first it was a shock, because it took away my voice,” recalls Simon in an excerpt published on his website. “It was while I was preparing a tour to promote my first Christian album, Share the news (which had just reached No. 21 on the Billboard Gospel Albums chart) when I realized there was a problem. As the cancer was in the thyroid against my vocal cords, I was sure my music career was over and at this point I stepped away from music. Apparently God had other plans and had enough foresight to know that I had to be home by then.
He then released two other gospel projects, that of 2016 It is not too late in the years 2018 I believe.
“There was such a positive message and vibe to the original music for Parliament-Funkadelic which was delivered in a fun way. Real music, real arrangements, pure joy. I think long term fans will relate to this aspect of music again, ”he noted of his gospel releases. “New fans can check out my version of gospel music, which I call ‘Sanctified Funk’!”