Calvin Simon, co-founder of the legendary Parliament Funkadelic group, has died at 79.
Simon’s death was confirmed on Instagram Friday (January 7) by former fellow group mate, Bootsy Collins.
“We lost another Original member of Parliament/Funkadelic,” the Collins wrote on Instagram. “A friend, bandmate & a cool classic guy, Mr. Calvin Simon was a former member of Parliament/Funkadelic. He’s in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, inducted in 1997 with fifteen members of P-Funk! R.I.P. Bootsy baby!!!”
Simone was born in West Virginia in 1942 and later moved to New Jersey with his family as a teenager.
He worked as a barber, before joining the musical group first known as The Parliaments in the late 1950s. Fellow barbers George Clinton, and customers Ray Davis and Fuzzy Haskins would make up the other original members of the group.
Calvin Simon, a founding member and longtime vocalist for Parliament-Funkadelic, has died at age 79. The singer appeared on classics “Give Up the Funk,” “Flash Light” and “Mothership Connection (Star Child),” among others https://t.co/jKkW0x7AXh
— Rolling Stone (@RollingStone) January 8, 2022
Simon was drafted into the military in 1967, serving in Vietnam but went on to sing with the group that would ultimately become known as Parliament Funkadelic.
Simon later left the group following financial disputes.
In 2004, Simon released a gospel album, Share The News, after being diagnosed and treated for thyroid cancer. He would go on to release two more gospel albums, It’s Not Too Late in 2016 and I Believe in 2018.
In 2019, Clinton and the other founding members of P-Funk received a lifetime achievement honor from the Recording Academy.
We lost another Original member of Parliament/Funkadelic. A friend, bandmate & a cool classic guy, 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 members of P-Funk!
R.I.P…🙏🤗 Bootsy baby!!!😢 pic.twitter.com/EulO2Esx7l
— Bootsy Collins (@Bootsy_Collins) January 7, 2022