Sly Stone Pleads Not Guilty to Cocaine Charge

Funk legend insists he did not own the drugs found in his clothing

June 16, 2011 10:00 AM ET
Sly Stone performs at Coachella, April 18, 2010.
Sly Stone performs at Coachella, April 18, 2010.
Charley Gallay/Getty Images

Reclusive funk legend Sly Stone has pleaded not guilty to possession of cocaine in a Los Angeles court yesterday. Stone – who has a history of drug abuse – was arrested in April after police pulled over a van he was in for a minor traffic violation. Rocks of cocaine were found in the clothing of both Stone and the driver of the vehicle.

Choose Rolling Stone's Cover: The Sheepdogs vs. Lelia Broussard. Vote Now!

According to Peter Knecht, one Stone's defense attorneys, the drugs did not actually belong to the Sly and the Family Stone frontman. "A lot of musicians hang out with people who have drugs," Knecht said. "How are they supposed to know?"

Stone is set to appear in court in Van Nuys, California for a pretrial conference on July 19th. His arraignment was originally scheduled for last week, but the singer was briefly hospitalized for heart problems.

To read the new issue of Rolling Stone online, plus the entire RS archive: Click Here

Music Main Next

blog comments powered by Disqus
Daily Newsletter

Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
marketing partners.


We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

Song Stories

“Money For Nothing”

Dire Straits | 1984

Mark Knopfler wrote this song with Sting, and it wasn’t without controversy. The Dire Straits frontman's original lyric used the word “faggot” to describe a singer who got their “money for nothing and their chicks for free.” Even though the slur was edited out in many versions, the band, and Knopfler, still took plenty of criticism for the term. “I got an objection from the editor of a gay newspaper in London--he actually said it was below the belt,” Knopfler told Rolling Stone. Still, "Money For Nothing," undoubtedly augmented by its innovative early computer-animated video, stayed at Number One for three weeks.

More Song Stories entries »