A highly influential and popular funk bassist, singer and bandleader Bootsy Collins has been one of the major names in funk for decades. Born as Williams Collins in Cincinnati in 1951, he led his first group in 1968, the Pacesetters. The group became James Brown’s backup band in 1970 when Brown’s entire group quit; they were renamed the J.B.’s. In 1972, Collins left Brown, led the House Guests for a year and then joined George Clinton’s Parliament/Funkadelic. Having paid his dues as a sideman with two of the major funk bands, in 1976 he led Bootsy’s Rubber Band. The group had 15 hits on the R&B charts, including “Stretchin’ Out (In a Rubber Band),” “The Pinocchio Theory” and “Bootzilla.” His six albums for Warner Bros. include Ahh … The Name is Bootsy, Baby! and Bootsy? Player of the Year. Later albums include What’s Bootsy Doin’? (recorded after he had been off records for six years), Blasters of the Universe and Fresh Outta “P” University. Collins has also made memorable guest appearances with Jerry Harrison of the Talking Heads (“Five Minutes”), Deee-Lite (“Groove is in the Heart”), Bill Laswell, Fatboy Slim, Nicole C. Mullens, Lo-Fidelity All Stars, Buckethead, Snoop Dogg, Victor Wooten and with several bluegrass veterans as GrooveGrass Boys. Collins has remained quite active up until the present time, recording a Christmas album in 2006 and never giving up the funk.