Talking Heads and Parliament-Funkadelic keyboardist Bernie Worrell has passed away after a battle with stage-four lung cancer. He was 72 years old.
Worrell moved to Detroit in the 1970s with George Clinton, The Parliaments, and The Funkadelics. He was the second musician ever to receive the original Moog synthesizer and the Minimoog. With that, he produced Parliament-Funkadelic iconic sound, subsequently influencing the course of R&B music.
Worrell began working with Talking Heads in the early 1980s during a Parliament-Funkadelic tour hiatus. He worked with David Byrne’s throughout the ’80s until their disbandment in 1991.
You can hear his work on ‘Speaking in Tongues’ as well as the ‘Stop Making Sense’ live album and concert film. He performed with the band during their induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2002.
Worrell was diagnosed with stage-four lung cancer in January of this year. His wife Judie had been keeping fans informed of his health on his Facebook page.
Writing on June 16, she said: “I was just told that Bernie is now headed ‘Home’. If you are in the WA area and want to visit him to say your goodbyes, PM me. PLEASE do not call me. Bernie can no longer talk on phone nor can he text.”
On June 24, the Facebook page was updated with: “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. Till we meet again, vaya con Dios.”