Bootsy Collins (born William Earl Collins in Cincinnati, Ohio, on October 26, 1951) is a singer-songwriter, bassist and guitarist, mainly known as one of the pillars of the funk sound in his work with James Brown and George Clinton. His nickname was given to him by his mother, who told him, “You looked like Bootsy.”
Along with his brother Phelps “Catfish” Collins, Bootsy joined James Brown’s backing band, The J.B.’s, in the early 1970s and played on a number of Brown’s hits, including “Super Bad”, “Soul Power”, and “Get Up (I Feel Like Being a) Sex Machine” among others. After nearly a year, Collins left Brown’s band and connected with George Clinton and his Parliament Funkadelic P-Funk movement in 1972. During his run with the group, Bootsy also branched off to produce solo work with Bootsy’s Rubber Band.
Bootsy was also instrumental in the career of electro-funk legend Roger Troutman and his group Zapp in the early 1980s. Bootsy’s work also became a major sample source by a number of hip-hop stars, and his style was a big inspiration to Snoop Dogg a.k.a. Snoopy Collins. His signature vocals were featured in Grand Theft Auto V as the DJ for radio station Space 103.2, as well as featured on the 2018 hit “After the Storm” with Kali Uchis. As a member of Parliament Funkadelic, Bootsy Collins was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1997.