Godfather of Soul's girls seek damages in court

Thursday, September 19, 2002

ATLANTA -- James Brown's daughters have filed a federal lawsuit against the Godfather of Soul, seeking more than $1 million in back royalties and damages for 25 songs they say they co-wrote.

Deanna Brown Thomas, who works at a South Carolina radio station, and Dr. Yamma Brown Lumar, a Texas physician, say Brown has withheld royalties because of a family grudge.

Even though they were children when the songs were written -- 3 and 6 when "Get Up Offa That Thing" was a hit in 1976 -- Brown's daughters helped write them, said their attorney, Gregory Reed.

"This is a sad scenario," Reed said. "They didn't want to handle it this way."

Brown, 69, could not be reached for comment Tuesday.

The singer has held a grudge against his daughters since at least 1998, when Thomas had her father committed to a psychiatric hospital to be treated for addiction to painkillers, according to the lawsuit, which alleges breach of contract, negligence and racketeering.

After his release, Brown "vowed to the media that his daughters will never get a dime from him," the lawsuit said. "James Brown has kept his word."

Brown grew up in Augusta and lives across the Savannah River in Beech Island, S.C.

In a letter to Reed almost a year ago, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported, Brown's attorney Leon Friedman agreed that some money was owed to Brown's daughters -- about $66,000.

No Doubt singer weds another crooner abroad

NEW YORK -- No Doubt singer Gwen Stefani, dressed in a white-and-pink silk faille gown by John Galliano for Christian Dior, married Gavin Rossdale of Bush in London last weekend.

"She looked very beautiful," Galliano told Us magazine for its Sept. 30 issue. The wedding took place Saturday at St. Paul's church, with friends and family attending the hour-long ceremony, the magazine said.

Telephone calls to Stefani's publicist in Los Angeles were not returned Tuesday.

Rossdale, 34, proposed to Stefani, 32, on New Year's Day.

Stefani became a staple in the music world with No Doubt's 1995 "Tragic Kingdom" album. British-born Rossdale made his American debut with Bush's 1994 album "Sixteen Stone."

It was the first marriage for both singers.

Former model promotes breast-cancer awareness

NEW YORK -- It took a good cause to bring model Iman back to the frenzy that is New York Fashion Week.

But she won't be on the runways.

Iman, 47, is promoting the fashion industry's Fashion Targets Breast Cancer fund-raising initiative, sponsored by the Council of Fashion Designers of America and Saks Fifth Avenue.

"The main consumer of fashion is women. It is our industry's responsibility to educate them, and there are a lot of young girls in the business -- women who think they are invincible -- who need to know about this," she said.

Iman, 47, retired from the catwalk in 1989. Although she still does photo shoots, she's concentrating on her cosmetics business, I-Iman, and her family -- husband-rock star David Bowie and her two daughters.

"I guess being a mother to a 24-year-old and a 2-year-old, it's a responsibility I feel to educate women and young girls about taking responsibility for their own bodies," she said.

Billy Ray Cyrus looking for move from Canada

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Singer-actor Billy Ray Cyrus wants to move his "Doc" TV show from Toronto to Nashville so he can spend more time with his family.

"It's rough on Billy Ray, spending nine months a year up in Canada and coming home to see his family every few weeks," said his manager, Al Schiltz. "In order for him to continue this project, he doesn't want to spend the next three years in Toronto."

"Doc" airs on the PAX cable network.

Tennessee officials are considering ways to accommodate the series, said Patricia Ledford of the Tennessee Film, Entertainment & Music Commission.

--From wire reports

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