Detroit Funk and Soul Artist Amp Fiddler Dies at 65

Fiddler was a member of funk groups Enchantment and George Clinton’s Parliament-Funkadelic as well as a mentor to J Dilla.
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Bronze Elegance Fashion Show
Amp Fiddler at the 2019 Bronze Elegance Fashion Show. // Photograph by Christine MJ Hathaway for Hour Detroit

Detroit funk and soul singer, songwriter, and keyboardist, Joseph “Amp” Fiddler, reportedly died on Sunday at the age of 65 following an extensive battle with cancer, which was revealed to the public via a GoFundMe a year ago.

Fiddler, who was born on May 17, 1958, had a 40-year career in music, working alongside big names in the business including Raphael Saadiq, Slum Village, Moodyman, and many others.

He was most known for his work with George Clinton’s Parliament-Funkadelic as well as his mentoring Detroit producer J. Dilla, introducing him to A Tribe Called Quest’s Q-Tip, which ultimately helped launch Dilla’s career, according to The Detroit News.

In a story about his death, the News reported that Fiddler began his career studying music at Oakland University before leaving college to tour with R&B group Enchantment.

He began performing with Parliament-Funkadelic in 1985 and continued performing with the group until 1996. In 1990, he released an album for the group Mr. Fiddler, which he formed with brother Bubz, and released his first solo album, “Waltz of a Ghetto Fly,” in 2004.

Over the years he played a variety of local stages including Movement and the Concert of Colors and was awarded a Kresge Artist Fellowship in 2020.

On Monday, a GoFundMe was launched to help his family with funeral costs, which hit its goal of $9,000 shortly after its creation.

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