Legendary James Brown passed on Christmas Day in 2006. Despite his will being quite clear his money should mostly go to underprivileged students in South Carolina and Georgia, his wife Tommie Rae Hynie took the matter to court to allocate funds to her and their 5 children. In 2020, it was ruled that since she never annulled her previous marriage, Tommie Rae was not legally married to James Brown. She was still married to Javed Ahmed. Even though Mr. Brown filed for annulment in 2004 after finding out about her previous marriage, Tommie Rae stands on that her first husband had three other wives in Pakistan and felt her earlier marriage was voided.
According to Vibe, “For approximately $90 million, Primary Wave Music has purchased the assets of the late singer’s estate, including music rights, real estate, and control over Brown’s name and likeness. Russell L. Bauknight, the estate’s executor since 2009, stated the money will endow Brown’s scholarship trust in perpetuity. He will continue to work with Primary Wave as a board member, managing some of Brown’s assets.”
Only James Brown’s grandchildren and the scholarships are the beneficiaries of his estate. His grandchildren will receive an estimated $2 million, and the trust will receive the bulk of what is left. The first scholarship dispersement is set to be released at the end of 2022. It was also designated prior that his clothes and household materials would go to 6 of his children.
Larry Mestel is not only the Founder of Primary Wave but he owns a great deal of both Whitney and Prince’s estates.