Saying Goodbye to the Wizard of Woo, Dr. Bernie Worrell


With great sadness we announce that George Bernard “Bernie” Worrell, has passed away at the age of 72, with his family by his side at his home in Washington. Loved by fans the world over, he now leaves a musical hole in the hearts of millions. His wife, Judie, kept fans abreast of his health, as he had been fighting stage-four lung cancer since being diagnosed in January. Efforts to raise funds for his cancer treatments have been ongoing. We at ShowTheShow ask that you continue to keep those funds coming, and urge you to support his family during this difficult time. Please visit his YouCaring page to donate now.

Credit: R.I. Sutherland-Cohen

Credit: R.I. Sutherland-Cohen

Born a musical prodigy in New Jersey in 1944, Bernie started studying the piano at three, wrote his first concerto at eight, and performed with the Washington Symphony Orchestra at ten. He then went on to study at the prestigious Juilliard School of Music, followed by The New England Conservatory of Music.

He met up with George Clinton in the ’70’s and went on to become a founding member and musical director of Parliament Funkadelic. After leaving P-Funk, he

Credit: Miro Vintoniv

Credit: Miro Vintoniv

joined The Talking Heads where he performed on a number of albums, and also appeared in the film, Stop Making Sense.

It was in 1997 that he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Over the years, he has performed with scores of musicians, all of whom widely respected, appreciated, and learned from him. On May 22, 2016, he received a well deserved honorary Doctorate from his alma mater, The New England Conservatory of Music. Since being diagnosed with lung cancer, he continued to bring his music to the people, with performances on his schedule nonstop. Thousands upon thousands of fans have been inspired to continue with their musical studies because of Bernie. He never stopped learning, never stopped smiling, and most importantly, never stopped playing music, his one true love and passion.

His magic on the keys will never be duplicated. The world has lost a one of a kind gem, leaving a silenced musical hole where his fingers once danced across the keys. Rest in peace, Bernie. Your music will forever live on in our hearts.

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