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Parliament Funkadelic musician Bernie Worrell dead

Published 24/06/2016

Bernie Worrell with actress Meryl Streep
Bernie Worrell with actress Meryl Streep

The iconic keyboard player has lost a lengthy battle with lung cancer.

Legendary Parliament Funkadelic musician Bernie Worrell has died, aged 72.

The star passed away after a long battle with stage-four lung cancer and the announcement of his death was made on Facebook on Friday (24Jun16).

A sad message, believed to have been written by his wife Judie, reads: "At 11:54, June 24, 2016, Bernie transitioned Home to The Great Spirit. Rest in peace, my love - you definitely made the world a better place..."

The writer of the post urges fans to "Check for further input" and "anything you want to post".

Judie has been posting updates about her now-late husband's medical condition online and last week (16Jun16) she revealed to fans on Facebook that Bernie was on his deathbed.

The deceased legend helped pioneer the funk music genre in 1968 when he co-founded iconic band Parliament Funkadelic with fellow musicians George Clinton and bassist Bootsy Collins.

Worrell was a prolific keyboard player, who spearheaded the use of modern synthesisers, becoming one of the first musicians to use sounds from the Minimoog machine in Parliament Funkadelic's classic 1978 single Flash Light. Worrell's contribution to the band's sound influenced a host of other musical genres, such as new wave, hip hop and early electronica.

He was also a regular collaborator with superstar post-punk band Talking Heads during the height of their success in the 1980s.

Worrell was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame with 15 other members of Parliament Funkadelic in 2007. He was also the recipient of an honorary Doctor of Music degree from the New England Conservatory of Music in May (16).

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