Payton & Associates, LLC
Commercial Litigation Attorneys
Miami, Florida

Legendary funk singer wins breach of contract suit

A musician best known for bringing the music of a classic Motown group to the world has been successful in suing for what he claims was a backlog of owed royalties. Sly Stone, known to Florida fans as the head of the legendary Sly and the Family Stone, recently filed a breach of contract suit against his own recording company and his business partners. He claimed he was owed a huge sum of royalties the company never paid him, and apparently a superior business court agreed. 

The suit was filed locally to the performer and states that, in 1989, he was approached by company executives for Even St. Productions, offering him a position at the company that would include not only co-ownership but also a chance to procure lost royalties. The suit goes on to say that Stone was not paid any royalties between 1989 and 2000. It alleges that Even St. used the royalty money to pay outstanding IRS dues. 

Even more, the company allegedly renegotiated royalty payments with record companies, allowing them to collect some $9 million in royalties that should have gone to the singer. A court ruled in favor of Stone in this matter, citing breach of contract. He was awarded $5 million for his troubles. 

Business litigation can be a complicated practice, particularly where breach of contract suits come into play. Any Florida resident familiar with the process can speak to the fact that, without foreknowledge of business law, it is easy for an individual to be misled regarding the specifics of a contract, sometimes even to the point of outright breach. Thankfully, a man who contributed a great deal to music history has been given his dues by a court of law.

Source:, "Sly Stone Gets His Day, Awarded 5 Million In Royalty Lawsuit", Lucille Barilla, Jan. 28, 2015

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