James Brown drummer Clyde Stubblefield has died

Prince, Public Enemy, N.W.A. and many others sampled his iconic work.

Clyde Stubblefield, the drummer for James Brown, has passed away, aged 73. Stubblefield’s wife, Jody Hannon, confirmed the drummer’s death to Rolling Stone. The cause of death was kidney failure.

Stubblefield played on James Brown tracks including ‘Get Up (I Feel Like Being A) Sex Machine’ and ‘Cold Sweat.’ His most well-known work is arguably the drum solo on ‘Funky Drummer’.

The solo went on the be sampled prominently by LL Cool J on ‘Mama Said Knock You Out’; Public Enemy on ‘Bring the Noise’ and ‘Fight the Power’ and N.W.A. on ‘Fuck tha Police’. Prince, the Beastie Boys, Dr. Dre, George Michael, and many others also incorporated his beat into their songs.

“We were sitting up in the studio, getting ready for a session, and I guess when I got set up I just started playing a pattern. Started playing something,” Stubblefield told Rolling Stone of creating the famous drum break. “The bassline came in and the guitar came in and we just had a rhythm going, and if Brown liked it, I just said, ‘Well, I’ll put something with it.'”

Questlove and William “Bootsy” Collins were among to stars who paid tribute to Stubblefield.

Sharing an image of the late drummer on Instagram, Questlove captioned it; “The Funky Funkiest Drummer Of All Time. Clyde Stubblefield thank you for everything you’ve taught me. The spirit of the greatest grace note left hand snare drummer will live on thru all of us. #RIP.”

Collins’ shared a post on Facebook, writing; “We lost another Pillar Stone that held up the Foundation of Funk. Mr.Clyde Stubblefield has left our frequency. I am lost for words & Rythme right now. Dang Clyde! U taught me so much as I stood their watchin’ over u & Jabo while keepin’ one eye on the Godfather. We all loved U so much. (SENDOUT YR LOVE TO HIS FAMILY & FRIENDS)! Then share yr stories about this Fire breathin’ Drummer, (THE FUNKY DRUMMER)! R.I.P. From all yr Funkateers…”