A couple of the principal combants appeared on the Larry King show last night. James Brown’s wife/partner, Tomi Rae and a lawyer representing other Brown family remained in separate corners. Ms Brown went on first and the lawyer followed.
Both commented they didn’t want to disparge anyone then went on to do just that. Ms Brown tearfully complained that other family members had locked her out of her home and some were motivated by money.
Later the lawyer responded by saying the gates of the estate were paddlocked to prevent visitors from coming on the property. Then she casually mentioned a larger issue. “Mr Brown’s home will become another Graceland”.
If some other celebrities are any indication Mr. Brown will be worth more dead than alive. Back in 2003 Forbes.com published an article titled “Top-Earning Dead Celebrities“.
Elvis topped the list earning $40 million. 600,000 decided to act on Paul Simon’s lyric. As Forbes stated “the clearest sign that Elvis never really left the building, his 30 #1 Hits CD compliation sold more than 9 million copies worldwide.”
Snoppy came in second. Licensing fees to sell everything from insurance to T-shirts helped bring the heirs of cartoonist Charles Schultz an un-”Peanuts”- like $32 million.
J. R. R. Tolkien, who wrote “Lord of the Rings”, took the bronze. He earned a heavenly $22 million.
During last night’s show the family’s lawyer stated that Tomi Rae had tarnished Mr. Brown’s legacy by granting an interview to a British Tabloid where she spoke of Brown’s personal problems. It’s unlikely the interview will cause many people to think any less of Mr. Brown but it’s certain to help sales of the Godfather’s biopics, memorabalia and remixes. The King is dead. Long live the King.