James Brown’s Heirs Settle 15-Year Dispute Over Soul Icon’s Estate, Song Publishing Rights

Classic songs are worth big money these days — Bob Dylan sold his catalog to Universal Music for a reported $300 million last December, Paul Simon and Stevie Nicks have made similar deals, and Merck Mercuriadis‘ Hipgnosis Songs Fund has spent more than $1 billion on catalogs containing compositions by Al Green, Rihanna, Beyonce and many others.

Likely to be shut out of this familial windfall is Tommie Rae Hynie, who claimed to be Brown’s wife even though, as South Carolina courts determined later, she was married to another man at the time of her marriage to Brown. The singer himself was aware of this, filing at one point for

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