Sly Stone came to be on March 15, 1944, in Denton, Texas. In 1966, Stone united his group, the Stoners, along with his brother Freddie’s group to form Sly and the Family Stone. As Sly Stone’s cocaine use increased, so did his failure to fulfill the group’s obligations. In 1976, he declared insolvency. In 1993, Sly and the Family Stone were inducted to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Musician Sly Stone was born Sylvester Stewart to mom Alpha and dad K.C. in Denton, Texas, on March 15, 1944.
After graduating from Vallejo High School, Stewart went to study music theory at Vallejo Junior College. In collaboration along with his manager, Tom “Big Daddy Donahue,” Stewart produced soul vocalist Bobby Freeman’s hit song “C’mon and Swing” in 1964.
Capitalizing on his new stage name, Stone began a group called the Stoners. The union gave birth to the one of a kind funk group called Sly and the Family Stone, with Stone functioning as both frontman and songwriter. The group’s members also contained Sly’s and Freddie’s cousin, ground-breaking bass player Larry Graham; drummer Greg Errico; and sax musician Jerry Martini. Sly’s and Freddie’s sister, Rosemary Stewart, joined them on keyboard a year after.
Although their first album, A Whole New Thing, flopped in 1968, tunes like 1969’s “Thank You” and several tracks in the record Stand! (also released in 1969) were extremely successful.
Despite supporters’ expectations, 1970 arrived and went with no new record. Additionally in this time around, the group had started to create a reputation for showing up late to performances or missing them completely—a consequence of Stone’s drug abuse. The group had, nonetheless, made it to Woodstock, where they produced a watershed operation of “I Need to Take You Higher” on August 17, 1969.
As Stone’s cocaine use increased, so did his paranoia and his failure to fulfill the group’s obligations.
In 1970, Sly Stone moved from San Francisco, California, into a mansion in Bel Air. In his new house, he stockpiled guns, cocaine and PCP, and procured himself a vicious guard dog. The release of Sly and the Family Stone’s spooky 1971 record, There Is a Riot Going On, verified to listeners that Stone had grown disillusioned. Following the record’s release, Greg Errico left the group. While Sly and the Family Stone managed to eke out a couple more hits, including “In The Event That You need Me to Stay” (1973) and “Loose Booty” (1974), 1976 seen Stone declaring insolvency.
Stone took a couple of stabs at comebacks during the 1980s, but his cocaine use finally got him in jail.
Over a decade after, Sly Stone reemerged to the public eye with the surprising and far-out performance in the 2006 Grammy Awards. Several years after, he and some of his family members reunited for a show in Vegas.
More recently, in 2011, Stone released a comeback album entitled I am Back! Family and Friends. The musician was apparently residing in a van in Los Angeles following the record’s launch.