(CelebrityAccess) – Famed jazz and funk keyboardist, Edwin Birdsong, passed away on Monday.
Birdsong was an accomplished solo artist and a prolific session musician and producer.
Known for his work with both Stevie Wonder and Roy Ayers, his song’s have also been sampled by a number of artists including Daft Punk, who tweaked Birdsong’s 1979 track “Cola Bottle Baby” for their 2001 hit, “Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger” (later sampled again by Kanye West on “Stronger”), De La Soul, who used Birdsong’s 1980 track “Rapper Dapper Snapper” for their 1989 hit, “Me Myself and I,” and DJ Premier who later used the song again on Gang Starr’s 2003 track “Skillz.”
Birdsong got his start in music as a singer in the Los Angeles Community Choir. He later served in Vietnam and spent time playing for service personnel in clubs throughout Germany. Follow his return to the United States, he relocated to New York City and studied music and composition at the Manhattan School of Music and Juilliard.
After signing to Polydor Records in 1971, Birdsong went on to release five solo albums of experimental jazz and funk.
Birdsong was 77-years-old.