‘Funky Drummer’ Clyde Stubblefield dies at 73

Clyde Stubblefield

MADISON, Wis. — Clyde Stubblefield, a drummer for James Brown who created one of the most widely sampled drum breaks ever, died Saturday. He was 73. His wife, Jody Hannon, told The Associated Press that Stubblefield died of kidney failure at a Madison, Wisconsin, hospital around noon. He had been suffering from kidney disease for 10 years, and had been hospitalized for a few days, she said.

Stubblefield performed on several of Brown’s classics in the 1960s and early 70s, including “Cold Sweat,” ”Say It Loud — I’m Black and I’m Proud,” ”I’ve Got the Feelin’,” and the album “Sex Machine.”

But he was best known for a short solo on Brown’s 1970 single, “Funky Drummer.” Rolling Stone magazine said it was sampled on over 1,000 songs and served as the backbeat for countless hip-hop tracks, including Public Enemy’s “Fight the Power,” Dr. Dre’s “Let Me Ride,” LL Cool J’s “Mama Said Knock You Out” and Run-D.M.C.’s “Run’s House.”