George Clinton sed by estate of late keyboardist Bernie Worrell

Keyboardist Bernie Worrell played with Parliament and Funkadelic and went on to perform with Talking Heads, Mos Def and others.

Was acclaimed keyboardist Bernie Worrell merely a hired gun for George Clinton and Parliament-Funkadelic — or was he a key creator entitled to a stake in royalties?

The question may at last get resolved before a judge. In a lawsuit filed Tuesday in Detroit federal court, Worrell’s estate contends the late musician was never properly compensated for his performances and collaborative work on hundreds of P-Funk and Clinton tracks, including hits such as “One Nation under a Groove,” “Flash Light” and “Give Up the Funk (Tear the Roof off the Sucker).”

Defendants include Clinton and his Southfield company Thang Inc., along with Warner Brothers Records and Universal Music, which have arrangements with Thang to release Parliament-Funkadelic recordings.

The suit could formally settle the role played by Worrell — and other P-Funk musicians — in masterminding the groups’ trailblazing work, which blended funk, rock and R&B in a free-spirited musical brew. The rhythm-heavy music, recorded in Detroit, went on to become one of the most-sampled bodies of work as hip-hop blossomed in the ’80s.

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