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 have lost another original Member of Parliament/Funcadilic,” Potsie Collins wrote on Instagram on Friday (January 7), confirming Simon’s death. “Mr. Calvin Simon, a friend, fellow bandmate and a great classic guy, was a former MP/Funcadilic. He’s inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, inducted in 1997 with fifteen members of P-Funk! RIP Bootsy Baby!!! “
A post on George Clinton’s Facebook page read: “Rest in peace to my brother B Funk, Mr. Calvin Simon.” Longtime Singer in Parliament – Funkadelic. Fly on Calvin! “
The cause of Simon’s death is not mentioned.
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 by the late 1950s Simon joined the group originally known as Parliaments, which first formed as a Do-Wop Quintet with fellow barbers George Clinton and Grady Thomas and clients Ray Davis and Fozzie Haskins.
Simon, who was drafted in 1967 to serve in Vietnam, went on to sing with the group that later became known as Parliament-Foncadilic. He eventually parted ways with the group due to financial disputes.
“The thing that means the most to me is how I dealt with PTSD from serving 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 did not allow evil thoughts to penetrate and manifest into action. Instead, I found my faith and relied on a higher power to see me through.”
Along with other Members of Parliament-Funkadelic, Prince Simon was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1997.
“Funk is the force that has shredded the roof of modern music,” Prince said in the introduction to Rock Hall.
Recently, Simon recorded gospel music under his label Simon Says, and released the album Share the news In 2004, when he was diagnosed and treated for thyroid cancer.
“At first it was a shock, as he took my voice away,” Simon recalls in an excerpt posted on his website. It was while preparing for a tour to promote Christian’s debut album, Share the news (which just reached number 21 on the Billboard Gospel Album) When I realized there was a problem. Since the thyroid cancer was against my vocal cords, I was sure my music career was over, at which point I moved away from music. God obviously had other plans and he had enough thought to know that I needed to go home at that time.”
He went on to launch two more gospel projects, 2016 It’s not too late yet in 2018 Think.
“There was a positive and lively message to Parliament-Funkadelic original music delivered in a fun way. Real music, real arrangements and pure joy. I think long-term fans will relate again to this aspect of music,” he noted of his gospel releases. “New fans can try my version of gospel music, which I call ‘Sanctified Funk’!”