Music legend Sly Stone made his first major public appearance since his 1993 induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame last night (Feb. 8) at the Grammy Awards in Los Angeles. Sly & the Family Stone were the subject of a multi-artist tribute during the telecast, for which Stone joined in during the final number, “I Want To Take You Higher.”
Stone, now 61, has not released an album since 1982’s “Ain’t But the One Way” and was last heard from on the 1986 soundtrack to the film “Soul Man.” Over the years, he has battled drug addiction and been the subject of bizarre rumors about his personal life, but is understood to now be in better health and living in Beverly Hills, Calif.
Boasting a huge platinum mohawk, dark sunglasses and a floor-length metallic coat, Stone took his place at a synthesizer in the middle of the stage, flanked by such artists as Joss Stone, John Legend, Maroon 5, Fantasia, will.i.am and Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler and Joe Perry. He only occasionally sung into the microphone and walked off the stage before the song was finished, but not before stepping to the stage and flashing a brief smile.
The tribute also featured portions of the Family Stone classics “Family Affair,” “If You Want Me To Stay,” “Everyday People” and “Dance to the Music.”
As previously reported, those songs are the basis for the new album “Different Strokes for Different Folks,” which features new renditions by such acts as Legend, Maroon 5, OutKast’s Big Boi and Buddy Guy with John Mayer. The set is due Tuesday via Legacy.