Clinton, George

Clinton, George, 1941- , American singer, songwriter, producer, and bandleader, b. Kannapolis, N.C. Although born in North Carolina, Clinton was raised in Plainfield, N.J., where he operated a small barber shop that became a hangout for local musicians in the late ‘50s-early ‘60s. His first group, the Parliaments, performed in a doowop style, but—under the influence of James Brown—took a more funk-oriented approach in the later ‘60s-early ‘70s, performing both under its original name and the new name, Funkadelic, and sometimes under the combined name of P-Funk. The joint groups had four number one R&B hits and three platinum albums, and placed over 40 songs on the R&B charts. His best known hit was “Atomic Dog” (1982). As a producer, Clinton worked with groups like the Red Hot Chili Peppers and saxophonist Bootsy Collins (who was also a member of the P-Funk collective). His ‘70s-‘80s era recordings were highly influential on the original hip hop and rap artists, and continue to be widely sampled. He was given a Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2019 Grammys.

See his autobiography (2014; with B. Greenman).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2024, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

See more Encyclopedia articles on: Music: Popular and Jazz: Biographies