'Funky Drummer' Behind Infamous Hip-Hop Sample Dies at 73

Clyde Stubblefield's drum break has been sampled over 1,000 times
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Feb 18, 2017 5:18 PM CST
James Brown's 'Funky Drummer' Clyde Stubblefield Dies at 73
Clyde Stubblefield, drummer behind one of the most sampled pieces of music ever, died Saturday at the age of 73.   (YouTube)

Clyde Stubblefield, a James Brown drummer who created one of the most widely sampled drum breaks ever, has died. He was 73. Stubblefield's wife, Jody Hannon, tells the AP he died of kidney failure at a Madison, Wisconsin, hospital Saturday. She says he had been suffering from kidney disease for 10 years, and had been hospitalized for a few days.

Stubblefield performed on several of Brown's classics, but was best known for a short break on Brown's 1970 single, "Funky Drummer." Rolling Stone says it was sampled on more than 1,000 songs and served as the backbeat for countless hip-hop tracks, including Public Enemy's "Fight the Power." Hennon says the Tennessee-born Stubblefield never saw many royalties and never expected them. (More obituary stories.)

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