Pioneering funk producer, writer, keyboardist, and vocalist Walter "Junie" Morrison has passed away, Okayplayer reports. Morrison was 62.
Morrison is widely regarded as one of the principal architects of funk. In the early 1970s, Morrison helped found The Ohio Players, contributing to the group's major hits, including "Pain", "Pleasure", "Ecstasy" and the popularly-sampled "Funky Worm." He joined George Clinton's Parliament-Funkdalelic in 1977, and contributed to seminal records such as One Nation Under a Groove, Motor Booty Affair, and Gloryhallastoopid. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1997 along with 15 others P-Funk members.
Morrison was the inspiration for "Junie," a song from Solange's 2016 album A Seat at the Table album. Speaking to The FADER last October, Morrison said that he was extremely flattered by the tribute. "Suffice it to say, I was like, WHAAAT???!!!," he said.
"I believe Solange intuits that this type of attitude is the only attribute needed to keep our world from changing," he said of the musical diversity displayed on A Seat at the Table. "Our awareness is as wide and varied as there are stars in the sky. So I ask, which one of those stars will say that the other does not belong there? Imagine, if you will, the universe acting in as anti-social a way toward its stars, galaxies, and nebulae as we do with our diversity here on earth. There would be real problems in the cosmos."