Marley Bass Player Loses Royalty Suit
Aston "Familyman" Barrett, the bass player for Bob Marley and the Wailers, has lost a £60 million ($113.6 million) lawsuit over royalties and songwriting credits that pitted him against IslandAston "Familyman" Barrett, the bass player for Bob Marley and the Wailers, has lost a £60 million ($113.6 million) lawsuit over royalties and songwriting credits that pitted him against Island Records and the Marley family.
Barrett, who received his nickname for fathering 52 children, testified that he and his brother Carlton "Carly" Barrett, a drummer for the reggae band who was murdered in 1985, did not receive the money they were due following Marley's death from cancer in 1981.
But Mr. Justice Kim Lewison dismissed the suit today (May 15) in a ruling at London's High Court, a move welcomed by Marley's widow Rita and her family.
"We always felt this would be the outcome, and it was hard to listen to Aston Barrett reduce his friend Bob to someone who was more interested in playing football than making music," the family said in a statement.
Barrett will be liable for court costs and may be forced to sell two properties in Jamaica as a result of the ruling.
The Barrett brothers played on numerous Marley albums, including "Natty Dread," "Rastaman Vibration" and "Babylon by Bus." The judge dismissed their claim to have written several of the band's songs, including "War" and "Them Belly Full."
During the trial, Rita Marley and Island Records founder Chris Blackwell played down the contributions of the brothers and said Aston Barrett surrendered his right to further royalties in a 1994 agreement that paid him several hundred thousand dollars.
"There is, in my judgment, no reason to decline to enforce the settlement agreement against Mr. Aston Barrett," Mr. Justice Lewison said in his ruling.
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