*Sly Stone has been mired in legal issues lately. In a lawsuit regarding “tens of millions” of dollars in allegedly misappropriated royalties against several individuals and entities, including an ex-manager, a lawyer and Sony, Warner and Broadcast Music Inc (BMI), he detailed the full extent of his financial woes and poor career choices.
The sequence of events leading up to this point originated in the mid-70’s, shortly after the apex of Sly’s career. The flashy musician began to run into some personal problems that required Ken Roberts, Stone’s friend and onetime manager, to advance him some money to pay off some debts. In return, Stone assigned Roberts his BMI-administered performance-right royalties.
In 1980, the IRS began to garnish Stone’s income. For the next 15 years, much of the money that was derived from Stone’s hit songs was routed to government tax collectors. By the late 1980s, according to the court documents, Sly Stone’s addiction to cocaine and sedatives had resulted in him becoming a fugitive, and without any record deal, he was also destitute.
Over the next 20 years, Sly went through numerous channels to stay afloat financially. The process included receiving substantial loans, evading bill collectors, as well as weaving his way through the court system to avoid potential legal action from disgruntled associates. Currently, Sly is in the hole for millions, and according to sources, the appeals court isn’t giving him much relief.
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