Sly Stone awarded $5 million in back royalties, damages

A California jury says Sly Stone is owed $5 million.

Story highlights

  • Music icon Sly Stone wins a $5 million jury verdict
  • Jury found Stone was owed royalties and damages by former manager, attorney
  • Sly and the Family Stone were known for hits like "Everyday People"

(CNN)If you want him to stay, you're going to have to pay Sly Stone.

That's the $5 million message from jurors in California regarding the soul-funk music icon, known for classic Sly and the Family Stone hits such as "Everyday People, " "If You Want Me to Stay," "Dance to the Music" and "Family Affair."
On Tuesday, a Los Angeles Superior Court civil jury found for Stone in his breach-of-contract lawsuit against Even St. Productions, manager Jerry Goldstein and attorney Glenn Stone, awarding him $5 million in royalties and damages.
    "This is one for the good guys," Los Angles trial lawyer Nicholas Hornberger said. "These people cheated him and took all his money."
    In his lawsuit, Stone (whose legal name is Sylvester Stewart) alleged that Goldstein and Glenn Stone "without the permission of Sly Stone, have received, borrowed, and continue to receive millions of dollars in royalties or derived from royalties," according to the Los Angeles Times.
    "They would give him a little money so he would sign stuff," Hornberger said. "They had him sign all sorts of complicated contracts he would never understand, and he just wanted to make music. They just wanted his royalties."
    By 2011, Stone was reportedly homeless, living out of a van. He had sued Goldstein in 2010, accusing him of stealing his royalties.
    Attorney Gregory Bodell, who represents Goldstein and Glenn Stone, said his clients plan to appeal.
    "We are disappointed with the verdict, and we believe the jury didn't understand" all of the evidence, Bodell said. "It's plain to me from the jury award, evidence and other information I've received subsequently" that the jury miscalculated the verdict, he said.
    It's not clear how long it would take the singer to collect the entire jury award, given the other side's plans to appeal.
    However, Hornberger says the court has control of $2 million or $3 million in royalties paid out during the lawsuit because they were deposited with the court.
    He said he expects the court to rule on future royalties and other matters within a month or two.