James Brown ’s heirs reach agreement over singer's estate, ending 15-year legal battle
Terms of July 9th resolution not revealed
that the settlement is expected to give heirs termination rights over Brown’s preexisting publishing deals over Brown’s 900-song catalog as well as the focal point of Brown’s 2000 will, to “fulfill Mr. Brown’s noble estate plan to fund scholarships,” the estate’s administrator Russell L. Bauknight said in a statement.
Under the terms of Brown’s 2000 will, the singer left the majority of his assets in a trust to establish scholarships to underprivileged children in South Carolina and Georgia. However, the implementation of that trust was delayed by the dispute of the will, which bequeathed very little in terms of money to his heirs; they only inherited Brown’s possessions and stage costumes, as well as $2 million to be used solely for his grandchildren’s education.
Complicating matters was Brown’s 2001 marriage to former backup singer Tommie Rae Hynie, who — although the pair were in the process of having the marriage annulled at the time of Brown’s death — acted as the singer’s widow, setting up copyright deals amid the battle over the estate, the headtopics.com
New York Times reported.However, in 2020, the Supreme Court of South Carolina ruled that Hynie was never legally married to Brown since her previous marriage remained intact at the time of her 2001 wedding, a ruling that eliminated her as an heir; however, Hynie and Brown had a child together who remained an heir, keeping Hynie involved in the settlement process.
The heirs previously reached a settlement deal in 2009 that wasin 2013 by then-South Carolina Attorney General Henry McMaster, who argued that the agreement did not adhere to the wishes of Brown’s 2000 will, Read more: Rolling Stone »
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