Sly Stone Net Worth: How Much is the Musician Worth Today?
Sly Stone stands out as a highly influential and inventive musician, renowned for blending soul, funk, rock, and psychedelia in his band Sly and the Family Stone. Nevertheless, his journey has been marred by struggles with drugs, financial difficulties, and legal issues. This Article will delve into Sly Stone’s beginnings, his career life, net worth, and private life.
Sly Stone Net Worth
In 2023, Sly Stone’s net worth is roughly $500 thousand, as reported by Celebrity Net Worth. This is a significant decrease from his peak earnings in his heyday as one of the music industry’s most prominent and influential figures.
Back in 1970, Sly Stone amassed a staggering $4 million, which, adjusted for inflation, would be around $28 million today. At that time, he also possessed an opulent mansion in Los Angeles, an array of high-end cars, and even a private jet.
How Sly Stone Lost His Fortune and Fought for His Royalties?
Sly Stone’s fortune was mostly wasted due to his poor choices, extravagant lifestyle, and addiction to drugs. In 1984, he sold his music rights to Michael Jackson for just $1 million, missing out on the income from royalties and licensing fees his songs generated over the years. He also spent a significant amount on drugs, parties, and legal battles, which depleted his finances.
By 2011, Sly Stone was revealed to be penniless and homeless, residing in a van in Los Angeles. He hadn’t received any royalty payments from his former manager, Gerald Goldstein, since 1989, and consequently, he sued Goldstein for violating their contract.
This legal battle lasted for over two decades, concluding in 2015 when a jury awarded Sly Stone $5 million in damages. However, half of the judgment was against a company that had declared bankruptcy, and the other half was contested by his former managers. It remains uncertain how much money Sly Stone ultimately received from this ruling.
Sly Stone’s Early Life
Sylvester Stewart, known as Sly Stone, was born on March 15, 1943, in Denton, Texas. He was the second of five children to K.C. and Alpha Stewart, who were devout members of the Church of God in Christ (COGIC). When he was a child, his family relocated to Vallejo, California, exposing him to a wide range of musical styles and cultures.
Sly displayed exceptional musical talent at a young age, becoming proficient in various instruments and singing in church choirs. At the age of eight, he, along with three of his siblings (Freddie, Rose, and Vaetta), recorded a gospel single under the name the Stewart Four.
Additionally, he established several bands during his high school and college years while pursuing studies in music theory and composition.
Career Journey of Sly Stone
Sly Stone began his career as a record producer at Autumn Records and a radio DJ at KDIA in San Francisco during the mid-1960s. He formed a band called The Stoners with his brother Freddie and friend Cynthia Robinson.
In 1966, he merged The Stoners with another local group, The Family, to create Sly and the Family Stone. Their big break came in 1968 with the release of their second album, “Dance to the Music,” which featured the title track as their first hit single. The song highlighted the band’s unique blend of funky rhythms, catchy melodies, vocal harmonies, and horn arrangements.
They followed up with more successful albums like “Stand!” (1969) which included hits like “Everyday People,” “I Want to Take You Higher,” and “Stand!” Their “Greatest Hits” album (1970) featured tracks like “Hot Fun in the Summertime” and “Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin).”
Sly Stone’s musical style reached its pinnacle with “There’s a Riot Goin’ On” (1971), an experimental and darker album reflecting his disillusionment with the social and political issues of the time. The album included the classic “Family Affair,” which became their last number one hit.
The band’s popularity dwindled in the subsequent years as they struggled to maintain their creative and commercial success. They released three more albums: “Fresh” (1973), “Small Talk” (1974), and “High on You” (1975), but none achieved the same level of success. The band disbanded in 1975 after a final performance at Radio City Music Hall.
Sly Stone attempted a solo comeback in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s, but didn’t achieve significant hits. He released four solo albums: “Heard Ya Missed Me, Well I’m Back” (1976), “Back on the Right Track” (1979), “Ain’t But the One Way” (1982), and “I’m Back! Family & Friends” (2011). He also collaborated with artists like George Clinton, Bobby Womack, Miles Davis, and Funkadelic.
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Sly Stone got married once and has two kids. He wedded model and actress Kathy Silva in June 1974 at a packed show in Madison Square Garden. They already had a son, Sylvester Stewart Jr., born in late 1973. Unfortunately, they split in 1976 after their son was attacked by Stone’s dog.
In 1976, he had a daughter named Phunne Robinson with Cynthia Robinson, who was also part of Sly and the Family Stone as a trumpet player.