Bernie Worrell, the keyboardist who made tremendous contributions to music through his work with Parliament/Funkadelic and Talking Heads, has passed away at the age of 72 following a battle with lung cancer.
Worrell, a classically trained pianist, was one of the founding members of Parliament/Funkadelic, and his keyboard and synthesizer play with the band helped define the sound of funk. He was one of the first people to receive a Moog synthesizer, and used that, along with other keyboards and organs, to create the sound found in such iconic P-Funk songs as “Flash Light,” “Mothership Connection,” and “Give Up the Funk.”
On top of that, Worrell played with Talking Heads for much of the ‘80s, and is in their classic concert film Stop Making Sense. The man known as “The Wizard of Woo” also played with the likes of Fela Kuti, Mos Def, and Praxis, and released several solo albums throughout his career.
However, Worrell found out he had stage-four lung cancer in January. He had been seeking funds for a new album, called Retrospectives, with the hope it would be released before his death. His work has lasted throughout the years, and his death will do nothing to change that. He passes on as one of the most important keyboard players to ever live.