Funk Keyboardist Edwin Birdsong Dies at 77


Birdsong was sampled by DJ Premier, Daft Punk and De La Soul.

Edwin Birdsong, the 1970s funk and jazz keyboardist whose songs earned a second life samples by Daft Punk, De La Soul and Gang Starr, has died at 77.

Birdsong's dying on Monday (Jan. 21) was confirmed by his son, Singh Birdsong, and ex-wife, Angela Birdsong, with the latter writing, "unhappy to listen to of the Passing of my ex-husand and father of my son."

Edwin Birdsong was born on Aug. 22, 1941, in Los Angeles. Following a stint in Vietnam, he moved to New York, the place he started creating his distinctive jazz/funk hybrid, signing to Polydor Records in 1971 and releasing his debut, What It Is, in 1972, adopted up by Supernatural in 1973. Birdsong's jazz-influenced enjoying on songs corresponding to 1979's "Phiss-Phizz" and co-writing and co-producing alongside funk/soul icon Roy Ayers earned him cult standing.

Though his work did not high charts, its affect sprouted within the ensuing a long time when hip-hop and dance artists started discovering his incessantly funky rhythms, with 1979's "Cola Bottle Baby" getting sampled on Daft Punk's 2001 hit single "Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger," which was, in flip, sampled by Kanye West on 2007's "Stronger." Other acts who've sampled his work embrace A Tribe Called Quest — who used the Birdsong-produced "Running Away" (1977) on 1989's "Description of a Fool" — as properly De La Soul, who used 1980's "Rapper Dapper Snapper" for his or her iconic "Me Myself and I," Madlib, Erykah Badu and Gang Starr.

In a 2017 inteview, Birdsong — who additionally appeared on "Spiritual Walkers" on Stevie Wonder's 1985 In Square Circle album — mentioned his shock when he heard about Daft Punk's pattern, saying, "I recorded it 30 years in the past and right here comes some guys from France…I requested them, 'Where did you discover the music?' And they stated, 'I used to be going via bins and it popped out…after which Kanye West additionally sampled the identical music, known as it 'Stronger.' I'm blessed and I proceed to be blessed by opening my arms to God each day."

See the tributes and take heed to a few of Birdsong's most beloved work beneath.


Edwin Birdsong aug 22 1941 – jan 21 2019 i love you dad ——❤️—-♥️

A publish shared by Singh Birdsong (@singhbirdsong) on Jan 22, 2019 at 10:34am PST