Clarence Reid, the singer/songwriter/musician who was also known as Blowfly, died today in his hospice room. He was 76 and had been suffering from terminal liver cancer.
During the ’60s and ’70s Reid penned songs for artists including Betty Wright, Sam & Dave, Gwen McCrae, Jimmy “Bo” Horne, Bobby Byrd and KC & the Sunshine Band. He also cut original songs including “Nobody But You Babe,” later creating his Blowfly alias so he could raunchy, sexually explicit versions of soul and pop songs known as “party records.”
Over the years his edgy songs, which were sampled by Beyoncé, Wu-Tang Clan, DJ Quik, DMX, Method Man & Redman, Main Source, DJ Shadow, Eazy-E, RJD2, Jurassic 5, Big Daddy Kane, Mary J. Blige, Brand Nubian and the Avalanches, landed him in legal trouble. He was sued by songwriter Stanley Adams, who was ASCAP president at the time, for spoofing “What a Diff’rence a Day Makes” as “What a Difference a Lay Makes.”
The news of his passing was announced on Facebook by Tom Bowker of Blowfy Music.
According to Bowker, Reid’s final Blowfly album, 77 Rusty Trombones, will be released in February.
Clarence Reid, the genius known both by his given name and as Blowfly, the Master of Class, passed peacefully today, January 17th, in his hospice room.
His sister Virginia and I thank you for all the love you have shown this week. We also thank you for supporting Clarence’s 50 + year music career – especially these last few years. We love you and will keep you informed on services and tribute performances in Clarence’s honor.
Nothing But Love,
— FLYLO (@flyinglotus) January 17, 2016
RIP Clarence Reid a.k.a. Blowfly. Your Music is classically Funky.
— DJ Quik (@djquik) January 17, 2016
R.I.P. Blowfly aka Clarence Reid
— PETEROCK.COM (@PeteRock) January 17, 2016
RIP and respect to the ORIGINAL. ‘Blowfly’ https://t.co/HddHABK5vB
— ICE T (@FINALLEVEL) January 17, 2016
I had the great privilege of playing with BLOWFLY. So much joy. R.I.P. Clarence Reid.
— Flea (@flea333) January 17, 2016