LOS ANGELES (CelebrityAccess MediaWire) — Former funk superstar Sly Stone is reported to be living in a van in the Los Angeles neighborhood of Crenshaw.
According to the New York Post, the troubled singer was, as recently as four years ago, living in a compound in Napa Valley, replete with a vinyard but apparently, times have changed for Stone.
Sly and his famed funk band The Family Stone, rose to prominence in the mid 1960s and 1970s, but the group became increasingly erratic, with band members often missing gigs. Finally, in 1975 after a disasterous, self-booked show at Radio City Music Hall that left the band scraping for cash to get back home, the band broke up.
Stone continued to record on his own, producing several more albums, including two releases on Epic and then two on Warner. In 1980 in the face of waning popularity, Stone famously appeared on "The Mike Douglas Show" telling the audience that, "I’m going to do one more album real quick, and if it’s not instantly platinum, bye-bye."
Stone had appeared on an episode of the daytime talk show "The Mike Douglas Show," where he famously said "I’m going to do one more album real quick, and if it’s not instantly platinum, bye-bye." Two years later, he released "Ain’t But the One Way" which drew mixed critical response, but was a commercial failure.
Despite his earlier threat, Stone continued to sporadically release singles and collaborate with other until 1987 when he was arrested on cocaine charges.
Now, according to the New York Post, Stone appeared dishelved and expressed concern that he was being pursued by "hit men" and the FBI and refused to let the Post journalist into his van, though he did pose for a photo with a silver army helmet and a tazer.
Stone says that his financial problems were compounded in 2009 when he accused his manager Jerry Goldstein of fraud. Stone alleges that he was tricked into signing a contract with Goldstein in 1989, which ceded control of finances to Goldstein in exchange for a regular paycheck. Stone has filed suit against Goldstein, alleging fraud and accusing Goldstein of stealing 20 years worth of royalty payments. It probably doesn't help that Stone sold his music publishing rights to Michael Jackson in 1984 for $1 million. – CelebrityAccess Staff Writers