Anthony Kiedis from the Red Hot Chili Peppers sang Make My Funk The P-Funk in honour of Parliament-Funkadelic pioneer George Clinton, who received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Clinton, who was showcasing his renowned eclectic fashion taste in a sparkle-encrusted cap and matching pink coat during the ceremony on Friday, said receiving a star in the category of recording made him “proud as hell”.
It comes after the 82-year-old was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1997 and received the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2019 for his instrumental impact in shaping the sound of funk music.
Honouring his star on the Walk of Fame, Kiedis took to the stage in Los Angeles and described Clinton as an American “national treasure”, before singing a “small spiritual hymn”, the 2006 Parliament-Funkadelic hit Make My Funk The P-Funk, with the audience joining in with the lyrics.
After starting his career with The Parliaments which scored a major hit in 1967 with (I Wanna) Testify, Clinton spawned Funkadelic and achieved several influential albums including Maggot Brain and America Eats Its Young.
One of Clinton’s most popular songs included the 1982 release of Atomic Dog, which featured in films including 102 Dalmatians and Trolls World Tour.
Meanwhile, he also collaborated with global stars including Kendrick Lamar on his Grammy-winning album To Pimp A Butterfly and Prince’s 1990 companion album for the film Graffiti Bridge.
“I was encouraged by rappers like Snoop, (Dr) Dre… OutKast, Digital Underground, Tupac (Shakur), Kendrick (Lamar) – by the rock acts like the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Prince, all those who said the funk inspired them in one way or the other.
“I was inspired to go on in my fight for the musical rights, not just for me but for all these rights that have been mishandled,” Clinton said during the ceremony.
During his speech, Kiedis spoke about the impact Clinton had on him and his music growing up, saying “seeds were planted” when he went to see Parliament-Funkadelic perform.
“Something happened to me that night where I was never going to be the same again,” the 61-year-old said.
“Fast forward to 1985 and I’d started a little baby band of my own and we were going somewhere slowly which was fine.
“The record company came to us and said ‘Boys if you could have anyone on earth produce your next record who would that be – and Flea and I looked at each other and said ‘George Clinton’.”
Kiedis, 61, said just two months later “my entire band move in with George and his family” and set up their instruments in the living room alongside the stuffed animals – of which Clinton is a collector.
“…We started writing and George starting teaching us and for me personally, George became an instant friend, a teacher, mentor, a father figure, a co-conspirator, an instigator and honestly a conductor of alien enterprises truth be told.”
Clinton said he hoped the Hollywood star was not just a symbol for him “but for the power of the funk”.
“I learnt early on in this journey that you are only as big as your latest hit, so you had to keep things in perspective to keep from getting a big head,” he said.
“I found out there were times were it seemed like everybody knew your name, then there were times were no one knew you.
“I learned to respect the balance, if I needed to hear my name spoken out loud, I would go to the airport and page myself. That’s how fickle the ego is anyway,” he joked.
“It’s the people that make the funk, I’ve been pleased to have been apart of this cosmic slot,” Clinton added.
The ceremony also saw renowned civil rights attorney Ben Crump give a speech, as well as US songwriter Janie Bradford.
Meanwhile, a banner was pulled from an aeroplane in the sky above which read: “Congrats George – Mark and Marcy Bass”, alongside a love heart.