American funk musicians

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  1. Prince



    Prince Roger Nelson (born June 7, 1958), known by his mononym Prince, is an American singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and actor, a major figure in popular music for over three decades. Prince is renowned as an innovator and is widely known for his eclectic work, flamboyant stage presence, and wide vocal range. He is widely regarded as the pioneer of Minneapolis sound. His music combines rock, R&B, soul, funk, hip hop, disco, psychedelia, jazz, and pop.

  2. Pharrell Williams

    Pharrell Williams


    Pharrell Lanscilo Williams (born April 5, 1973), also known by his mononym Pharrell (/fəˈrɛl/), is an American singer, songwriter, rapper, record producer and fashion designer. Williams and Chad Hugo make up the record production duo the Neptunes, producing soul, hip hop and R&B music. He is also the lead vocalist and drummer of rock, funk and hip hop band N*E*R*D, which he formed with Hugo and childhood friend Shay Haley. He released his first single "Frontin'" in 2003 and followed up with his debut solo album In My Mind in 2006. His second album, Girl, was released on March 3, 2014.

  3. André Benjamin

    André Benjamin


    André Lauren Benjamin (born May 27, 1975), better known by his stage name André 3000 (formerly known as André), is an American rapper, singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, record producer and actor, best known for being part of hip hop duo Outkast alongside fellow rapper Big Boi. As an actor, Benjamin has made appearances in a number of TV series and films, including Families, The Shield, Be Cool, Revolver, Semi-Pro, Four Brothers, and the leading role of Jimi Hendrix in All Is by My Side. In addition to music and acting, Benjamin has also been an active entrepreneur. In the spring of 2008, he launched a clothing line called Benjamin Bixby. He has also been an advocate for animal rights. He is also known for his work on the Cartoon Network animated series Class of 3000.

  4. CeeLo Green

    CeeLo Green


    Thomas DeCarlo Callaway (born May 30, 1974), better known by his stage name CeeLo Green (sometimes rendered as Cee Lo Green or Cee-Lo Green), is an American singer, rapper, songwriter, record producer, actor, and businessman.

  5. Rick James

    Rick James


    Rick James (born James Ambrose Johnson, Jr.; February 1, 1948 – August 6, 2004) was an American musician and composer.

  6. Jeffrey Osborne

    Jeffrey Osborne


    Jeffrey Linton Osborne (born March 9, 1948) is an American musician, singer-songwriter, lyricist and lead singer of the band, LTD.

  7. Isaac Hayes

    Isaac Hayes


  8. Ike Turner

    Ike Turner


  9. Ameriie



    Amerie Mi Marie Rogers (born January 12, 1980), known professionally as Amerie (Currently Ameriie), is an American recording artist, record producer, and actress. She debuted in 2002 with the album All I Have, primarily co-written and produced by Rich Harrison, and was well received in the urban market. In 2005, Amerie released her biggest hit to date, "1 Thing", the lead single from her second album, Touch, which garnered her crossover recognition and earned two Grammy Award nominations. Her third album, Because I Love It, achieved moderate international success in 2007, although it was not released in North America, and she was subsequently dropped from her label Columbia Records's roster. Amerie released her fourth studio album, In Love & War, in 2009, her first album under Island Def Jam.

  10. Ronald Isley

    Ronald Isley


    Ronald Isley (/ˈzl/; born May 21, 1941), is an American recording artist, songwriter, record producer, and occasional actor. Isley is better known as the lead singer and founding member of the family music group the Isley Brothers.

  11. Bobby Womack

    Bobby Womack


    Robert Dwayne "Bobby" Womack (/ˈwmæk/; March 4, 1944 – June 27, 2014) was an American singer-songwriter and musician, and producer. Since the early 1960s, when he started his career as the lead singer of his family musical group The Valentinos and as Sam Cooke's backing guitarist, Womack's career spanned more than 50 years, during which he played in the styles of R&B, soul, rock and roll, doo-wop, gospel, and country.

  12. Maurice White

    Maurice White


    Maurice White (born December 19, 1941) is an American singer-songwriter, musician, record producer, arranger and bandleader. He is the founder of the band Earth, Wind & Fire. He is also the older brother of current Earth, Wind & Fire member Verdine White, and former member Fred White. Maurice served as the band's main songwriter and record producer, and was co-lead singer (along with Philip Bailey). White has won seven Grammys, and was nominated for 21 Grammys in total.

  13. Bobby DeBarge

    Bobby DeBarge


    Robert Louis "Bobby" DeBarge, Jr. (March 5, 1956 – August 16, 1995) was an American musician and the lead singer of the popular 1970s Motown R&B group Switch and was noted for his impressive falsetto vocals. Later on, he served as both mentor and a co-producer of his siblings' band, DeBarge, later joining them to fill in for departing members El and Bunny. A five-year conviction on drug trafficking charges derailed his career for several years.

  14. Sly Stone

    Sly Stone


    Sly Stone (born Sylvester Stewart, March 15, 1943, Denton, Texas) is an American musician, songwriter, and record producer, most famous for his role as frontman for Sly and the Family Stone, a band which played a critical role in the development of soul, funk, rock, and psychedelia in the 1960s and '70s. In 1993, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of the group.

  15. Ray Parker Jr.

    Ray Parker Jr.


    Ray Erskine Parker, Jr. (born May 1, 1954) is an American guitarist, songwriter, producer and recording artist. Parker is known for writing and performing the theme song to the movie Ghostbusters, for his solo music, and for performing with his band, Raydio, and with Barry White.

  16. Patrice Rushen

    Patrice Rushen


    Patrice Louise Rushen (born September 30, 1954) is an American composer, record producer, multi-instrumentalist, songwriter, music director and vocalist. Her 1982 single, "Forget Me Nots", received a Grammy Award nomination for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance. Rushen had great success on the R&B and dance charts, but "Forget Me Nots" was her only song to crack the Top 40 pop chart.

  17. Roy Ayers

    Roy Ayers


    Roy Ayers (born September 10, 1940) is an American funk, soul, and jazz composer and vibraphone player. Ayers began his career as a post-bop jazz artist, releasing several albums with Atlantic Records, before his tenure at Polydor Records beginning in the 1970s, during which he helped pioneer jazz-funk. He is a key figure in the acid jazz movement, which is a mixture of jazz into hip-hop and funk, and has been dubbed by many as "The Godfather of Neo Soul". He is most well known for his signature compositions "Everybody Loves The Sunshine" and "Searchin". and is also famous for having more sampled hits by rappers than any other artist.

  18. Joe Tex

    Joe Tex


    Joseph Arrington, Jr. (August 8, 1935– August 13, 1982), better known as Joe Tex, was an American musician who gained success in the 1960s and 1970s with his brand of Southern soul, which mixed the styles of country, gospel and rhythm and blues.

  19. Anwan Glover

    Anwan Glover


    Ralph Anwan Glover (also known as Big G) is an American actor and musician. He is one of the founding members of the Backyard Band, a go-go band, as well as appearing as gang member Slim Charles in the HBO series The Wire. He has also appeared in music videos, such as Boyz n da Hood's "Dem Boyz" among others, and has a spot on WKYS-FM radio in the Washington, D.C. area.

  20. Harry Wayne Casey

    Harry Wayne Casey


    Harry Wayne "K.C." Casey (born January 31, 1951) is an American musician, singer, songwriter, and producer. He is best known for his group, KC and the Sunshine Band, and as a producer of several hits for other artists. His father was of Irish descent and his mother Italian (Calabria).

  21. Larry Graham

    Larry Graham


    Larry Graham, Jr. (born August 14, 1946) is an American bass guitar player, both with the popular and influential psychedelic soul/funk band Sly and the Family Stone, and as the founder and frontman of Graham Central Station. He is credited with the invention of the slapping technique, which radically expanded the tonal palette of the bass, although he himself refers to the technique as "thumpin′ and pluckin′".

  22. Johnny "Guitar" Watson

    Johnny "Guitar" Watson


    John "Johnny 'Guitar'" Watson, Jr. (February 3, 1935 – May 17, 1996) was an American blues, soul, and funk musician and singer-songwriter. A flamboyant showman and electric guitarist in the style of T-Bone Walker, Watson recorded throughout the 1950s and 1960s with some success. His creative reinvention in the 1970s with disco and funk overtones, saw Watson have hits with "Ain't That a Bitch", "I Need It" and "Superman Lover". His successful recording career spanned forty years, with his highest chart appearance being the 1977 song "A Real Mother For Ya".

  23. Willie Hutch

    Willie Hutch


    William McKinley Hutchison (December 6, 1944 – September 19, 2005), better known as Willie Hutch, was an American singer, songwriter as well as a record producer and recording artist for the Motown record label during the 1970s and 1980s.

  24. Donald Byrd

    Donald Byrd


    Donaldson Toussaint L'Ouverture Byrd II (December 9, 1932 – February 4, 2013) was an American jazz and rhythm and blues trumpeter. A sideman for many other jazz musicians of his generation, Byrd was best known as one of the only bebop jazz musicians who successfully pioneered the funk and soul genres while simultaneously remaining a jazz artist. As a bandleader, Byrd is also notable for his influential role in the early career of renowned keyboard player and composer Herbie Hancock.

  25. Rufus Thomas

    Rufus Thomas


    Rufus Thomas, Jr. (March 26, 1917 – December 15, 2001) was an American rhythm and blues, funk, soul and blues singer, songwriter, dancer, DJ and comic entertainer from Memphis, Tennessee. He recorded for several labels including Chess and Sun in the 1950s, before becoming established in the 1960s and 1970s at Stax Records. He is best known for his novelty dance records including "Walking the Dog" (1963), "Do the Funky Chicken" (1969) and "(Do the) Push and Pull" (1970). According to the Mississippi Blues Commission, "Rufus Thomas embodied the spirit of Memphis music perhaps more than any other artist, and from the early 1940s until his death... occupied many important roles in the local scene."

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