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Sly Stone Is Homeless, Living in Van

USMagazine, Monday, September 26, 2011, 9:52am (PDT)

Sly Stone, who was the frontman for Sly and the Family Stone, has fallen on seriously hard times.

The funk and soul legend behind such classic songs as "Family Affair" and "Everyday People" is now homeless, living in a white camper van parked in Los Angeles' rough Crenshaw neighborhood.

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"I like my small camper," the reclusive, flamboyant singer, now 68, tells the New York Post. "I just do not want to return to a fixed home. I cannot stand being in one place. I must keep moving."

Four years ago, the icon, whose real name is Sylvester Stewart, resided in a sprawling "compound" in the Napa Valley featuring a vineyard and multiple cars out front. At the height of his fame, Stone lived in a 5,432-square foot Beverly Hills mansion that once belonged to John Phillips of the Mamas and the Papas.

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But the eccentric, erratic artist succumbed to both drug addiction, money mismanagement and lavish spending habits. Stone spent tens of thousands of dollars on elaborate cars and motorcycles, which he sometimes even gifted to friends.

After multiple arrests in the 1980s for cocaine possession, Stone performed in 1987, then vanished from the stage for 19 years. He re-emerged in a bizarre Grammys tribute in 2006, when he shuffled off the stage mid-song. Increasingly paranoid over the years, he sued his manager for fraud in 2009, asking for $50 million in damages and stolen royalty payments.

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Despite his housing situation, Stone is still recording music in his van via laptop.

"My music is a format that will encourage you to have a song you won't forget. That's why I got so much money, that there are so many people around, and that's why I am in court. Millions of dollars!" Stone told the Post.

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"But now please tell everybody, please, to give me a job, play my music. I'm tired of all this s---, man," he added. "I see all the guys playing those old songs. Let these guys know, like Lady Gaga, let me come in, just let me come in and pay me if you like it."

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