The Estate of Michael Jackson and MIJAC Music has reached an agreement with Sylvester Stewart, aka Sly Stone, to take a majority ownership of the U.S. rights to the Sly and the Family Stone catalog and will retain long-term administration rights. Their classic songs “Family Affair” “Dance to the Music” “Everybody is a Star,” “Hot Fun in the Summertime” and “Everyday People.” The Estate continues to own 100% of the copyright for the catalog outside the U.S.
MIJAC Music is one of the industry’s leading independent publishers. It was created in 1980 by Michael Jackson as his personal publishing company. The MIJAC Music catalog includes all of the songs written by Jackson, including “Bad,” “Beat It,” “Billie Jean,” “Black or White,” as well as many other hits like “After Midnight,” “Ain’t No Stoppin Us Now,” “Back Stabbers,” “Cryin’ in the Chapel,” “Ease on Down the Road,” and “For the Love of Money.”
Co-executors of the Estate of Michael Jackson John Branca and John McClain stated “Sly and the Family Stone were a force for enlightenment and positive change, a message that Michael believed in. He recognized Stewart’s genius and the power of his words and music which is why he first acquired the catalog and why we at MIJAC follow in Michael’s footsteps today.”
Sly and the Family Stone formed in San Francisco in 1966 and have garnered over 10 albums including their debut Stand and There’s a Riot Goin’ On. They were then nducted into the Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame and have inspired many musicians including Michael Jackson, Prince, the Red Hot Chilli Peppers, and Stevie Wonder.
In 2010, Stewart was struggling financially, leading him to sell his catalog to the Jackson Estate for $1 million and his house in Napa Valley at the time. He eventually lived out of his van, where he would still produce new music. In 2015, the singer was then rewarded $5 million after suing his former manager Gerald Goldstein and attorney Glenn Stone have involved Sly to sign an agreement with Even Street Prods, leaving him with no royalty payments. Goldstein and Stone claimed that the singer was not lured into signing the contract, but was aware of the terms and renewed the agreement 40 times over 15 years between 1994 and 2006. The jury then ruled in Stewart’s favor. Later that year, the ruling was overturned as a judge ruled that he could not collect his payment because he had sold his royalties to a production company in the ’80s.