Sly Salvation

Sly Stone wins a big lawsuit, Kenny G takes credit for Frappuccinos and Migos gets ridiculed for big check/tiny donation

Feb 4, 2015 at 10:16 am
click to enlarge Sly Stone on the cover of Sly and the Family Stone's 1967 debut album, 'A Whole New Thing'
Sly Stone on the cover of Sly and the Family Stone's 1967 debut album, 'A Whole New Thing'

HOT: Sly Salvation

It’s always distressing to see artists duped out of money made entirely from their own creations. It’s even more troubling when the artist is an influential icon like Sly Stone, a superstar with his Soul/Funk/Rock juggernaut Sly and the Family Stone, who in more recent years became reclusive and erratic, reportedly living on a shoestring budget (some reports say he was homeless and living in a van). If he was living in a van by necessity, he won’t have to anymore, at least if an L.A. jury’s recent award of $5 million stands up to appeal. Stone contends his former lawyer and manager, who signed him as a client in the late ’80s to help him collect royalties and make a comeback, bilked him out of millions. The defendants’ lawyers say the pair helped Stone get out of tax trouble and paid him as much as $9 million in royalties, while Stone never followed through on promises to make new music.

WARM: FrapMaster G

In what is either the “Quiet Storm” equivalent of Al Gore claiming to have invented the Internet or a new Trivial Pursuit question, Smooth Jazz star Kenny G is claiming at least partial credit for the creation of Starbucks’ Frappuccino. In an interview with Bloomberg, the walking punchline/sax player said he told Starbucks’ CEO about a popular drink the Coffee Bean chain was selling. Because Starbucks eventually did copy Coffee Bean’s “Ice Blended” drinks for its Frappuccino, G said he feels “partially responsible for that.” If his decaf music hadn’t made it so G could use $100 bills for toilet paper for the rest of his life and still die an inexplicably very rich man, is there any doubt that, if he’s being truthful, he’d be in court suing Starbucks for his fair share? Huffington Post contacted Starbucks about the claim and the company gave a vague response, saying, "Kenny has been a dear friend of Starbucks since the beginning of the company and we are very appreciative of everyone, including Kenny, who've been a part of the success of Frappuccino" (because Kenny bought one once or because he helped in the creation?).

Stranger things have happened (go to the 1:55 mark):

COLD: Big Hearts, Big Check … Tiny Donation

There are famous people who give to charity and never say a word about it. Then there are those who see charity as a PR stunt, letting everyone know about every big donation made. Then there’s Migos. One of Hip Hop’s most successful young groups, Migos visited a high school in its hometown of Atlanta and delivered one of those big cardboard checks emblazoned with the donation amount — a whopping $1,000. A photo of the group holding the check made them the joke of the Internet for a few days, but it wasn’t even the press that leaked the image — Migos did it themselves, proudly, on their Instagram account. Later the trio took their giant checkbook to Waffle House to celebrate, posting a pic with the waiter and the 35-cent gigantic check they tipped him with. (Probably.)

They can take solace in the fact that they are better than The Beatles. Wait, what?!