James Brown has been dead for 15 years! But there has been no shortage of litigation to divvy up his estate. Finally, an agreement has been made
James Brown To Finally Rest In Peace?
James Joseph Brown, known as the Godfather of Soul, died in 2006 on Christmas Day due to pneumonia. He was 73 years old. Also known as Soul Brother #1, James left a legacy few can rival.
Brown left in his will a desire to create a trust to distribute millions of dollars in scholarships to the underprivileged. Children in both South Carolina and Georgia stood to gain from this charity. But those words on a piece of paper did not come to fruition right away.
Brown’s estate was sued right out of the box. Several of his children, his former romantic partner, and even his administrators took part in challenging the estate. According to lawsuits filed, federal and state cases lined the courtrooms in both California and South Carolina.
Finally, most of the disagreements have been resolved. Though few details are public, 5 of his children, the estate of 1 child, and 3 grandchildren jointly stated, “the matter has been settled”.
Albert H. “Buddy” Dallas is a former lawyer for Mr. Brown. Also once being an executor of his estate, he was not a party to the settlement. As reported by The New York Times, Buddy stated –
“If resolution has been reached, after 14 and a half years, I wonder if that’s some sort of record…”
The net worth of James Brown’s estate ranged anywhere from $4.7 million to $100 million. However, many of his offspring were left out of the will.
One of the litigators was a backup singer he “married” and later tried to annul. Tomi Rae Hynie “married” James in 2001. But, it was later discovered that she was already married to another man.
Though she was instrumental in posing as his widow, the Supreme Court of South Carolina later ruled that she was never his legal spouse.
Now a part agreement has been reached. Included in the mix are 900 songs that James Brown licensed to various outlets. These songs could fetch upwards of tens of millions of dollars.
Will we be hearing some James Brown tunes in samples or in commercials soon? Only time will tell. Let’s hope the little kids get what the Godfather of Soul wanted them to have. Then he can finally rest easy.