As the frontman for Sly and the Family Stone, he was one of the most exciting and successful singer/writer/perfomers of his era. (see video of Sly performing at Woodstock, below)
But the ‘60s were a very long time ago.
Today, after decades of drug and financial struggles, Sly Stone (born Sylvester Stewart) lives in a van with a camper shell he parks on the street in Crenshaw, a tough neighborhood in Los Angeles.
Interviewed by a reporter from the New York Post, a slovenly Stone seemed paranoid, claiming that the FBI is pursuing him and that his enemies have hired hit men.
Known for incandescent hits like “Stand!”, “Dance to the Music”, and “Everybody is a Star”, Sly made his last major public appearance at the 2006 Grammys, a brief, broken-down cameo that had people shaking their heads.
Sly, 68, sold his lucrative music-publishing rights to Michael Jackson in 1985 for a reported $1 million.
He told the Post that his situation started spiraling down precipitously in 2009 when his manager, Jerry Goldstein, cut off his royalty checks. Stone sued Goldstein last year for $50 million, claiming fraud and two decades of misappropriated royalty payments.
He insists that he is happy with his new lifestyle. "I like my small camper," he told the Post. "I just do not want to return to a fixed home. I cannot stand being in one place. I must keep moving."