The Funkiest Funk Music Artists You Need to Know

We all know that funk music is cool, but do you know who the coolest funk artists are? Check out our list of the funkiest funk musicians you need to know!

George Clinton

George Clinton is the mastermind behind the bands Parliament and Funkadelic, and is considered one of the most important figures in funk music. He was born in Kannapolis, North Carolina, in 1941, but he spent most of his childhood in Plainfield, New Jersey. As a teenager, he formed a doo-wop group called the Parliaments, which had a hit single with “I Wanna Testify” in 1967. The group eventually evolved into Parliament, a psychedelic soul band that became one of the best-selling acts of the 1970s.

Funkadelic was originally conceived as Parliament’s less commercial counterpart; Clinton has said that “Funkadelic is Parliament’s psychedelic soul brother.” Like Parliament, Funkadelic was a hugely successful band during the 1970s; their biggest hit was “(Not Just) Knee Deep,” which topped the R&B charts in 1980. In the 1980s and ’90s, Clinton began releasing solo albums; his most recent release is 2014’s First Ya Gotta Shake the Gate.

Clinton has been credited as an influence by many hip-hop artists; he was featured on Kendrick Lamar’s 2015 album To Pimp a Butterfly, and he collaborated with Outkast on their 1998 single “Synthesizer.”

Bootsy Collins

Funk pioneer and innovator Bootsy Collins has had a long and successful career in the music industry, both as a solo artist and as a member of Parliament-Funkadelic. He is perhaps best known for his work with James Brown in the 1970s, as well as his successful solo albums in the 1980s.

Collins was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, in 1951. He began playing bass guitar at an early age, and by his teenage years, he was already performing with local R&B and soul bands. In 1970, he joined James Brown’s backing band, The J.B.’s, and quickly established himself as one of the most talented and innovative bassists in the world. He toured and recorded with Brown for several years, before embarking on a solo career in the early 1980s.

Collins’ solo albums are widely regarded as some of the best examples of Funk music ever recorded. His style is unique and instantly recognizable, combining heavy Funk grooves with elements of Disco, Soul, and Hip Hop. He has collaborated with many other artists over the years, including George Clinton, Snoop Dogg, Stanley Clarke, and Buckethead.

Collins was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1997, and he remains an active touring and recording artist to this day. If you’re a fan of Funk music, then you need to know about Bootsy Collins!


Formed in the late 1960s by experienced musicians, Parliament-Funkadelic is a Funk and Rock band led by George Clinton. The band has undergone many personnel changes over the years, but Clinton has always been the de facto leader. Parliament-Funkadelic is known for its intricate arrangements, colorful stage shows, and memorable songs such as “Give Up the Funk (Tear the Roof Off the Sucker)” and “(Not Just) Knee Deep.”


There’s no doubt that Prince was one of the funkiest musicians of all time. He melded R&B, rock, soul, and pop into a unique sound that was all his own. He was a master of the electric guitar, and his solos were legendary. He also had a great sense of fashion and was known for his outrageous outfits.

James Brown

James Brown was an American singer, songwriter, dancer, musician, record producer and bandleader. A progenitor of funk music and a major figure of 20th century popular music and dance, he is often referred to as the “Godfather of Soul”. In a career that lasted 50 years, he influenced the development of several music genres. Brown began his career as a gospel singer in Toccoa, Georgia. He joined an R&B vocal group, the Famous Flames, in which he was the lead singer. With the help of talent manager Ben Bart, Brown became one of the first black performers to attain mainstream popularity with white audiences in the United States.

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