Clyde Stubblefield, the innovative and groundbreaking drummer who gained notoriety with his work with James Brown, passed away earlier this morning at the age of 73. As the original funky drummer, his break on James Brown and his band’s “Funky Drummer” has become one of the most sampled and celebrated beats in hip hop. His loss is already echoing throughout the music community, with Bootsy Collins, Questlove, and others penning tributes to Stubblefield and sending condolences to his family. As a pioneer who helped form funk music and paved the way for other modern musicians, his presence will be sorely missed but not forgotten. Rest in peace.

“Funk Thing,” courtesy of Funkdrumm.

“Funky Drummer,” courtesy of Mari Koda.

“Cold Sweat” and “Funky Drummer,” courtesy of Drummer World.