Rolling Stone has reported that publishing and management company Primary Wave has bought the exclusive rights to Soul legend James Brown‘s publishing, his masters, and the name and likeness rights from the singer’s estate.
With news of the reported sale, the estate has gotten closer to establishing the scholarship fund the late singer wanted to be done, the NYTimes reports. The deal was reported to be $90 million.
When Brown passed away, one of the things listed in his will was for scholarships to be created for underprivileged children who live in South Carolina and Georgia. The estate is much closer to making that happen after a 15 year dispute due to contention among Brown’s heirs. They were only given Brown’s possessions and stage costumes, and $2 million was slated to be given to his grandchildren’s education.
There was another hiccup in the dispute. The alleged marriage between Brown and singer Tommie Rae Hynie, who was already married to another man when she married Brown. It was ruled in South Carolina’s supreme court last year that she was never officially Brown’s wife.
The New York Times reported that the money from the sale of his assets will fund the scholarships. Primary Wave’s founder and CEO Larry Mestel also stated that the company will contribute a small percentage of future earnings from Brown’s music to the pending scholarship fund.
There are still other lawsuits pending. Adele Pope, a former executor of Brown’s has an ongoing lawsuit against Brown’s estate. Russell Bauknight, the fiduciary for the James Brown Estate and Trust has a pending lawsuit against Pope. The scholarship fund can’t start until those lawsuits are resolved.
“The James Brown Estate and related Trust are very proud and excited to work with Larry Mestel and Primary Wave,” Bauknight said in a written statement.
“We believe that our choice of professionals to take the James Brown Legacy to the next level is going to prove to be one of the most successful events in Mr. Brown’s long history in show business.”