James Brown Estate Finally Settled After 15-Year Legal Battle

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A long-running dispute over the estate of singer James Brown has finally been settled, an attorney involved in the mediation said on Friday.

David Black, an attorney representing Brown’s estate, confirmed to The Associated Press that the agreement was reached on July 9. Details of the settlement were not disclosed.

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The estate had been in dispute since Brown’s death at age 74 on Christmas Day 2006, and extended beyond finance for a time into the ultimate disposition of his remains.

A key party in the dispute was Tomi Rae Hynie, a former partner and mother to one of Brown’s children, who once was locked out of his estate in a widely publicized moment of anguish. She claimed to be married to Brown, but evidence of that was scant.

In his will, Brown left the vast majority of his fortune to a trust, his personal effects to some of his children, $2 million for his grandchildren’s education, and nothing to Hynie.

The estate was beset by dozens of lawsuits over the years. No clear picture emerged as to its ultimate value, with estimates ranging from well more than $100 million to as low as $5 million.

Brown’s driving funk was featured in many classic hits, including “I Got You (I Feel Good)” and “Living in America,” the latter part of the 1985 film Rocky IV.

Brown was eventually buried in Beech Island, South Carolina, at the home of one of his daughters.

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