The iconic and enigmatic rock and funk legend Sly Stone will be the subject of a new documentary from filmmaker Derik Murray.
A title and release date for the film have yet to be announced, though the characteristically reclusive Stone has reportedly already sat with the filmmakers for an extensive interview. The film will also feature an array of archival footage and photographs, plus a soundtrack packed with songs from Stone’s catalog.
“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.”
Born Sylvester Stewart, Sly Stone got his start in music as a child, performing in a gospel quartet with his siblings. During the Sixties, he worked as a radio DJ in the Bay Area and formed several soul groups, the most famous of which, Sly and the Family Stone, came together in 1966. The band’s first album, A Whole New Thing, arrived in 1967, and that same year they scored their first major hit with, “Dance to the Music,” the title track off their second LP. Between 1967 and 1982, Sly and the Family Stone released 10 albums, among them classics like Stand! and There’s a Riot Goin’ On.
Following the band’s dissolution, Stone embarked on a solo career, but struggled to find commercial success while grappling with drug addiction. After getting sober, Stone began to make sporadic appearances, including the band’s induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and a performance at the 2006 Grammys. In 2011, Stone released a new solo album, I’m Back! Family and Friends and received the Grammys’ Lifetime Achievement Award in 2016.
As for Murray, the filmmaker has directed and produced several celebrity documentaries, including the 2017 film, I Am Heath Ledger. He’s also worked on films about Chris Farley, Even Knievel, John F. Kennedy, Jr. and Martin Luther King, Jr., while he also helmed the National Geographic docu-series, Facing.