Led by the inimitable George Clinton, the trailblazing ’70s-era funk group Parliament combined irresistible grooves with irreverent humor and Afrofuturist imagery. They functioned as a sister act for Funkadelic, Clinton’s more rock-oriented project.
• George Clinton formed the doo-wop group The Parliaments in New Jersey in 1955. They scored a Top 20 pop hit in 1967 with “(I Wanna) Testify,” but after a contractual dispute with Revilot Records, Clinton shifted his focus to Funkadelic, a new group that included the Parliaments lineup.
• In 1970, after regaining the rights to the name The Parliaments, Clinton signed Funkadelic to Invictus Records under the name Parliament. The group’s debut album, Osmium, spawned the R&B hit “The Breakdown.”
• Throughout the ’70s, Clinton presided over a collective of musicians that recorded as both Parliament and Funkadelic. The former generally dealt in funk, while the latter focused on psychedelic rock.
• Parliament’s sci-fi–themed 1975 concept album Mothership Connection went Top 20 on the Billboard 200 en route to platinum certification. Dr. Dre famously sampled sounds from the groundbreaking LP for his 1992 hip-hop classic The Chronic.
• In 1978, the group notched its first No. 1 on the Billboard R&B charts with “Flash Light.” They returned to the top spot the following year with “Aqua Boogie (A Psychoalphadiscobetabioaquadoloop).”
• After 1980’s Trombipulation, Clinton dissolved Parliament and Funkadelic as recording and touring entities due to continuous legal difficulties. Throughout the decades, he put out new music under his own name and P-Funk All-Stars.
• Clinton resurrected the Parliament name for 2018’s Medicaid Fraud Dogg. Legendary Houston rapper Scarface features on the track “I’m Gon Make U Sick O’Me.”