After a 15-year battle, James Brown's estate has finally been sold
We'll say it loud: James Brown's estate's got a brand-new home.
Primary Wave Music, a company that specializes in marketing estates and song catalogs, has bought all of Brown's remaining assets, reports The New York Times. That includes ownership over the late musician's estate, music rights, and control over how his name and likeness are used.
Primary Wave's founder, Larry Mestel, is no stranger to managing assets of musical icons, as it brokered similar deals for half of Whitney Houston's estate as well as most of Prince's. So what does this mean for fans of the Funky President's music and his legacy going forward?
Essentially, Primary Wave has the means and tools to market Brown's songs to a new generation of fans however they think they can reach them. That most likely includes, but would not be limited to, honoring him through a Broadway musical, television shows, and museum-like attractions (think Graceland for Elvis).
It also means that while fans might continue to have easy access to the singer's discography, they could also be subjected to decisions to honor him that they may not be on board with — say, in a concert featuring Brown getting down and funky in hologram form.
According to the Times, the deal also lets Primary Wave contribute a percentage of future deals towards scholarships for underprivileged children in Brown's home states of South Carolina and Georgia, something that has been in the works for almost four years.
Back in July, EW reported that a settlement had been reached for Brown's estate following a 15-year battle, but no details were confirmed. Part of the reason the estate purchase had been in flux was due to the singer's former partner, Tomi Rae Hynie, the mother of one of Brown's children who has argued her entitlement to a portion of his estate despite not being named in his will.
Brown, who died on Christmas Day in 2006, owned an estate that is estimated to be worth anywhere from $5 million to more than $100 million.