Bootsy Collins, born on October 26, 1951, is an American funk singer and bass guitarist. He is very widely known as an innovator in funk music. He was first recognized while performing with James Brown in 1970. He moved on to various collaborations and was part of Parliament-Funkadelic for a decade. He is known for being featured with artists across several genres. His trademark is “space bass,” and he has several alter egos to which he does justice. According to “Rolling Stone” magazine, he is fourth on the list of the 50 greatest bassists of all time. Here’s wishing him a happy birthday on his special day!
William Earl Collins was born in Cincinnati, Ohio. He was raised alongside his brother, Phelps “Catfish” Collins, by their mother. When he turned 17, he formed a funk band called The Pacemakers with his elder brother and some of their friends. The Pacemakers were hired as James Brown’s backing band in 1970. They worked with him for almost a year and were known as The J.B.’s. During their time with James Brown, The Pacemakers worked on several funk songs, including ‘Super Bad,’ ‘Bewildered,’ and ‘The Grunt.’
Collins returned to Cincinnati where he formed another band called House Guests with his brother and five other people. He joined Funkadelic a short while after and played bass on several of the band’s tracks. He formed Bootsy’s Rubber Band in 1976, and their 1978 album “Bootsy? Player of the Year” topped the R&B album chart and produced the top R&B single ‘Godzilla.’ He released his first solo album titled “Ultra Wave” in 1980 and then proceeded to perform several collaborations with artists such as Jerry Harrison, Malcolm McLaren, and Deee-Lite.
He married his wife Patti in 1996, and the couple runs the Bootsy Collins Foundation, founded to educate children in the field of music. He had a long-term addiction to L.C.D. in the seventies, but his wife and other factors helped cure him.
The band is named the Pacesetters and is made up of Collins, his older brother, Phelps, Frankie Waddy, and Philippe Wynne.
Titled “Ultra Wave” and featuring seven tracks, the album is fairly successful.
About two years after the release of his album “The One Giveth, the Count Taketh Away,” Collins goes on a nearly five-year break — he returns to making music in 1988.
He launches Bootsy’s, a club/restaurant featuring live musical acts, a museum dedicated to his career, and Spanish and American cuisine.
Stating that his decision was due to health reasons, Collins announces that he would no longer play bass in concerts.
Why We Love Bootsy Collins
He believes in his music
In an interview with “The Guardian,” he said, “Funk just brings people together, from the ground up. It doesn’t have nothing to do with color. It has nothing to do with status. It just brings you to ‘the one’, and the one thing that we all have in common is that we all just want to live.”
He was a dedicated player
During his time with James Brown, he learned to work hard and keep working. He carried that attitude into his music and put a lot of energy into it.
He cares about the next generation
Fully invested in passing on the legacy of funk music, he established Funk University and the Bootsy Collins Foundation. Both organizations were established to train young people in the field of music.
5 Surprising Facts
He found a father in James Brown
He was fatherless for most of his childhood, but he developed a bond with Brown, who treated him like a son.
He was nicknamed by his mother
His mother called him Bootsy because she thought he “looked like a Bootsy.”
He was a university professor
He co-launched Funk University with Cory Danziger and served as a curator and lead professor for the online bass guitar school.
He made his first bass guitar
His family didn’t have much to spend, so Collins took the only guitar available when he was a child and put bass strings on it.
He once proved James Brown right
After the older musician repeatedly accused Collins of being high on drugs, he decided to prove him right one night, and it backfired — he was let go.
Bootsy Collins FAQs
Is Bootsy Collins Snoop Dogg’s uncle?
According to Collins, Snoop Dogg is his “original nephew.”
Did Bootsy Collins pass away?
No, he didn’t. His elder brother Phelps “Catfish” Collins died in 2010.
What kind of bass does Bootsy Collins play?
He plays the Fender Precision Bass.
Bootsy Collins’s birthday dates