George Clinton honored at his Newark elementary school (WATCH VIDEOS)

clinton avon avenue school

George Clinton is honored at the Avon Avenue Elementary School in Newark, March 17.

Funk pioneer George Clinton returned, March 17, to Newark’s Avon Avenue School, which he attended in his youth, for a ceremony in which the Pre-K to Eighth Grade school’s music room was renamed the George Clinton Music Room. The room now includes a mural of him as well.

In addition, more than $5000 worth of equipment was donated to the school through Clinton’s partnership with the music companies Fender and JBL.

“Glad to be back at my own school, where I first got started at,” Clinton said, in the middle of a performance of one of his signature songs, “Give Up the Funk (Tear the Roof Off the Sucker).” “Avon Avenue School, y’all. I lived this way, for years. Thank you for having me.”

Watch two videos below with portions of the event, which was co-produced by NJPAC and the Power to Inspire Foundation.

Clinton was greeted with confetti and students waving ribbons and flags upon his arrival. Speakers included school’s Principal Charity Haygood, Newark Mayor Ras Baraka, Newark Schools Superintendent Roger Leon, NJPAC Executive Vice President David Rodriguez, and NJPAC Vice President of Arts Education Jennifer Tsukayama, with Power to Inspire Foundation founder Vivian Scott Chew moderating, and students given the chance to ask questions.

“We honor him as one of our students,” said Leon. “Can you imagine? You see this incredible man, and everything he accomplished? He did it while he was a student here at Avon Avenue School.”

Clinton, who turned 80 last year, will perform with his Parliament-Funkadelic Band — and guests including Questlove (of The Roots and “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon”), Vernon Reid (of Living Colour), Nona Hendryx (of Labelle), Treach (of Naughty by Nature), DJ Eric B (of Eric B & Rakim) and Nick Cannon — at an 80th Birthday Bash at NJPAC in Newark, March 18 at 8 p.m.

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