Sly Stone to Step Back Into the Spotlight in New Doc

Warner Brothers / Photofest
Sly Stone in 1970

The enigmatic pioneer is participating in the feature-length project.

Sly Stone is one of rock 'n' roll’s towering figures, with a troubling personal story as compelling as his exhilarating music. His reclusive life and groundbreaking fusion of pop, funk and rock will be examined in a new documentary produced by Network Entertainment and filmmaker Derik Murray.

While there have been previous documentaries about Stone, this marks the first film about his life that he has participated in, having already sat for one interview with more to potentially come. Murray is also working with the various rights holders of Sly & The Family Stone’s masters to license them for the doc.

“In the annals of pop music, certain artists are more than just innovators and more than just icons. Certain artists are avatars — the manifestation of an idea,” said Murray. "For Sly Stone, that idea was to create a diverse band that embraced a kaleidoscope of musical and cultural styles that stand unparalleled to this day.”

UTA will sell domestic and international rights to the full-length film, which, in addition to the new interview with Stone, will trace the pop-funk pioneer’s journey from child prodigy to current-day recluse through classic performances, archival footage and fresh interviews. The enigmatic Stone has seldom been seen over the past 20 years outside of Sly & The Family Stone’s 1993 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction and turning up for a tribute at the 2006 Grammy Awards.

"Sly felt it was the right time for him to return to the spotlight and share his incredible journey with the world,” said Robert Allan, Stone's longtime representative and the documentary’s co-executive producer.

Added veteran television producer, music manager and the film’s co-executive producer Ron Weisner: "This collaboration with legendary artist Sly Stone will deliver an epic and important film in the history of popular music. After refusing the spotlight for decades, Sly has finally opened up to share his amazing story on camera about everything: life, love and music."

Vancouver-based Network Entertainment has produced a number of acclaimed projects, including a Martin Luther King Jr. documentary, I Am MLK Jr., which premieres April 4 on Paramount Network, as well as Johnny Cash: American Rebel, which CMT aired in 2015, and documentaries on Muhammad Ali, Heath Ledger, Steve McQueen and more. 

This article first appeared on Billboard.com

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