George Clinton sued by estate of late keyboardist Bernie Worrell

Was acclaimed keyboardist Bernie Worrell merely a mercenary for George Clinton and Parliament-Funkadelic – or was he a key creator entitled to a royalty stake?

The matter can finally be resolved in front of a judge. In a lawsuit filed Tuesday in federal court in Detroit, Worrell’s estate argues the late musician was never properly compensated for his performances and collaborative work on hundreds of P-Funk and Clinton tracks, including such hits as “One Nation Under a Groove”, “Flash Light” and “Give Up the Funk (Tear the Roof off the Sucker)”.

The defendants include Clinton and his company Southfield Thang Inc., as well as Warner Brothers Records and Universal Music, which have deals with Thang to release Parliament-Funkadelic recordings.

The suit could formally settle the role played by Worrell — and other P-Funk musicians — in the band’s pioneering work, which blended funk, rock and R&B into a free-spirited musical brew. The rhythmic music, recorded in Detroit, became one of the most sampled bodies of work when hip-hop flourished in the 80s.

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