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Sylvester Stewart

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Sylvester Stewart


Sylvester Stewart (b. 15 March 1943, Denton, Tx.) better known as Sly Stone, is an American musician, songwriter, and record producer.

Born in Texas and raised in the Bay Area of Northern California, Stone mastered several instruments at an early age and performed gospel music as a child with his siblings (and future bandmates) Freddie and Rose.

In the mid-1960s, he worked as both a record producer for Autumn Records and a disc jockey for San Francisco radio station KDIA. In 1966, Stone and his brother Freddie joined their bands together to form Sly and the Family Stone, a racially integrated, mixed-gender act. Stewart, who is most famous for his role as frontman for the group, playing a critical role in the development of funk with his pioneering fusion of soul, rock, psychedelia and gospel in the 1960s and 1970s. AllMusic stated that "James Brown may have invented funk, but Sly Stone perfected it," and credited him with "creating a series of euphoric yet politically charged records that proved a massive influence on artists of all musical and cultural backgrounds.

The group would score hits including Dance to the Music (1968), Everyday People (1968), Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin) (1969), I Want to Take You Higher (1969) Family Affair (1971) and If You Want Me to Stay (1973) and acclaimed albums including Stand! (1969), There's a Riot Goin' On (1971) and Fresh (1973).

By the mid-1970s, Stone's drug use and erratic behavior effectively ended the group, leaving him to record several unsuccessful solo albums. In 1993, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of the group. He took part in a Sly and the Family Stone tribute at the 2006 Grammy Awards, his first live performance since 1987.

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