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The leader behind the Parliament-Funkadelic collective was celebrated for influencing and impacting funk music.
George Clinton, one of the most prominent innovators of funk music, reflected on the longevity of his career while being honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
“I learned early on in this journey that you are only as big as your latest hit,” Clinton said during his acceptance speech. “So you had to keep things in perspective, to keep from getting a big head. I found out that there would be times when it seemed like everyone knew your name. Then were times when no one knew you. I learned to respect the balance.”
The songwriter, producer and performer was awarded the honor on Jan. 19 in front of hundreds of fans who crowded the streets of Hollywood Boulevard to support Clinton achieving his milestone. Also in attendance were musician Anthony Kiedis from Red Hot Chili Peppers, Motown songwriter Janie Bradford and civil rights attorney Ben Crump, who each spoke and sang the long overdue praises of the funk pioneer.
Moments before Clinton spoke, Kiedis stood at the podium, retelling memories he shared with the artist and mentioning how much of an inspiration Clinton was in his life.
“Welcome to the corner of Hollywood and George,” Keidis joked to the audience. “…For me personally, George became an instant friend, teacher, mentor, father figure, co-conspirator and instigator…I love George Clinton with all my heart.”
Throughout his multi-decade music career, Clinton surpassed industry boundaries with his one-of-a-kind style and extraordinarily talented ear for musical hits. Clinton is famously known as the creator behind the funk music band “Parliament-Funkadelic,” which helped garner national attention for the beloved genre and cemented him as one of the few legends to make music history. In 1997, Clinton was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and earned the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2019.
“The old fans and new fans who let the music move their souls; you all know who I’m talking about [because] I’ve always said it’s the people who make the funk,” Clinton said.
The trailblazer is the mastermind behind timeless hits like “P-Funk (Wants To Get Funked Up),” “Mothership Connection (Star Child),” “Give Up the Funk (Tear the Roof Off the Sucker),” “Flash Light,” “One Nation Under a Groove,” “(Not Just) Knee Deep,” and “Aqua Boogie.” Clinton acknowledged another of his most famous songs, “Atomic Dog.” He thanked the members of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. for adopting the song as their national anthem and maintaining its relevance for more than 40 years since its initial release in 1982.
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In his speech, Clinton acknowledged the significance of receiving his Hollywood star in the area near where he lived after moving to Los Angeles.
“I know this hood right here. I know these streets,” he said. “I know what it means to see these names on the streets, these stars. I have often looked at them and dreamed that one day I might be down here myself.”
Despite announcing his retirement in 2018, Clinton continues to propel his career forward with multiple projects currently in the works.
“This acknowledgment does not mark a destination or even a pause because we’re still going forward,” the 82-year-old said.
Clinton continued, “I was encouraged by [artists] like Snoop Dogg, Dr. Dre, Ice Cube, De La Soul, 2Pac, Kendrick Lamar, Prince, Red Hot Chili Peppers and all those who said funk inspired them in one way or another. They used the DNA of funk and that inspired me to go on in my fight for musical rights — thank you, Ben Crump — and not just for me but for all [artists’] rights that have been mishandled.”
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The post George Clinton becomes emotional as he receives star on Hollywood Walk of Fame appeared first on TheGrio.