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© Eric Reichbaum ./Retna Ltd./Corbis
Bernie Worrell may be the single best keyboardist in all of funk. He’s certainly one of the most influential.
Yet another child prodigy, he was playing piano at age three, composing at age eight. He attended Julliard and the New England Conservatory of Music before forming Parliment-Funkadelic with George Clinton, with whom he played piano, synths and organ, as well as co-composing some of the group’s most influential material. However, it was his use of the Minimoog that made him standout. No one played the Mini in quite same way as Worrell.
His talents would also be tapped by a variety of new wave artists, including Talking Heads, with whom he can be seen in the film Stop Making Sense. Still going strong at age 67, Worrell proves that the funk never fades.