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Bootsy Collins

The prodigiously gifted bassist Bootsy Collins was a professional player as a teen in the musical hotbed (seriously) that was Cincinnati in the mid to late 1960s. He took the slapping and popping bass style of his hero, Larry Graham (bassist for Sly & the Family Stone), and brought his own low-down outrageousness to it. By 1970 his band was James Brown's backing band, recording and playing with the Godfather of Soul. Collins then joined George Clinton's band Funkadelic and helped them define their over-the-top Acid Funk sound and look. He hit the top of the R&B charts with Bootsy's Rubber Band a number of times in the late '70s. Collins remains a huge international star and a big influence on hip-hop artists, who have sampled his basslines countless times.