Calvin Simon, Former Parliament-Funkadelic Vocalist, Dies Aged 79
Calvin Simon, former singer with George Clinton’s Parliament-Funkadelic has died at the age of 79. The news came out through social media posts of other P-Funk members, though a cause of death has not as yet been revealed.
The West Virginia-born Simon joined George Clinton in the late 1950s as part of the doo wop group The Parliaments, and he stayed for two decades – from ‘(I Wanna) Testify’ to ‘Tear The Roof Off The Sucker (Give Up The Funk)’ – as the group morphed into the pioneering act Parliament-Funkadelic, with Simon playing a role in some of the group’s most iconic albums. Simon left the act in the late 70s, teaming with other former P-funk stars to create the act The Original P, but he rejoined the Mothership a little more than a decade later as part of the P-Funk Allstars.
Around the turn of the century, Calvin Simon left funk music for good, hoping to turn away from the excesses of the popular music life and toward a life of faith, through a new career as an independent Gospel artist. He is quoted, “It was with the help of my wife and my faith in Jesus that I made a conscious decision to remove myself from that path. People need to realize that if you don’t like a situation, you have the choice to walk away and do something else. It was not my first time to realize the idea of a choice to squash it, but perhaps one of the most profound lessons I have ever learned.”
Over the next several years, Simon overcame cancer and recorded a number of Gospel albums, including the charting disc Share The News as well as It’s Not Too Late, and I Believe before retiring in 2019, a few years after the passing of his wife.
He said of his second career, “I hope all that have heard it will feel the love and joy of the music and the message it brings. I want to be remembered for honesty and being a good guy. And above all, a man who kept his word to share the gospels by using the gift the Lord gave him!”