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Sylvester “Sly Stone” Stewart, legendary soul-funk extraordinaire recently won millions after spending the past few years broke and living in his van. This iconic musician has been awarded $5 million for a lawsuit he filed against entertainment attorney Glenn Stone and his ex-manager Gerald Goldstein back in 2010.
The lawsuit awarded by a Los Angeles jury accused the funkmeister’s former business associates of misappropriating and diverting royalties which should had been owed to him for more than two decades. The former lead man of the iconic group, Sly and the Family Stone, was reportedly penniless, drug addicted and homeless.
The 71-year-old musician, according to court documents, allowed Goldstein to talk him into signing over all of his royalties to a company for tax reasons. The vocalist trusted his ex-manager and thought it was the right thing to do. Sly Stone, however, was wrong. Reportedly, Goldstein has invested in a few luxury real estate properties and was otherwise living large with the royalties belonging to Sly Stone.
Sadly, during this time the vocalist has living out of a white van in Los Angeles. His fortune, as he knew it, ran out years ago because of his lavish lifestyle, substance abuse and financial mismanagement. The singer sued Goldstein in 2010 for stealing his royalty payouts and has now been rewarded. Sly said he does not want to return to a traditional home but does want to put his financial crisis behind him.
Sly and the Family Stone, along with Parliament-Funkadelic and James Brown, were pioneers of the late 60s and early 70s musical sound classified as funk. This sound fused R&B rhythms, psychedelia and infectious melodies to create a new pop/soul/rock mix which has proven to be widespread and lasting. Hits such as Family Affair, If You Want Me to Stay, Dance to the Music and Everyday People have stood the test of time.
When speaking of the outcome of this lawsuit Nicholas Hornberger, Los Angeles trial lawyer, said Goldstein and Stone cheated Sly Stone and took all of his money. Without his permission they not only received his money but continued to receive millions of dollars in royalties. Hornberger said, “This is one for the good guys,” and added:
They would give him a little money so he would sign stuff. They had him sign all sorts of complicated contracts he would never understand. Sly Stone just wanted to make music and they just wanted his royalties.
It is not clear how long it will take for Sly to collect his entire award because Goldstein and Stone’s attorney, Gregory Bodell, said his clients plan to appeal the verdict. Bodell said he is disappoint with the outcome and believes the jury failed to understand all of the evidence. It is clear, according to the attorney, that the jury miscalculated the verdict.
On Tuesday, Sylvester “Sly Stone” Stewart was awarded $5 million in royalties and damages in his breach-of-contract lawsuit against ex-manager Gerald Goldstein and attorney Glenn Stone. The artist will begin to collect partial winnings right away because the court has control of either $2 or $3 million in royalties which were deposited to the court during the trial, according to Hornberger. Within a month or two he expects the court to also rule on other matters and future royalties.
by Cherese Jackson (Virginia)
Photo Courtesy of Simon Fernandez – Creativecommons Flickr License