Sly Stone Documentary in the Works

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Sly Stone (center) via the Sly & the Family Stone Facebook page

An as-yet-untitled documentary focusing on the leader of Sly and the Family Stone will be directed by Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson, drummer of the Roots. In a statement, Thompson said, “It goes beyond saying that Sly’s creative legacy is in my DNA….it’s a black musician’s blueprint….to be given the honor to explore his history and legacy is beyond a dream for me.”

Sly Stone, born Sylvester Stewart on March 15, 1943, formed the biracial, mixed-gender psychedelic soul-rock-funk group in the mid-’60s and led it to great success over the next several years, scoring hits like “Dance to the Music,” “Everyday People” and “Hot Fun in the Summertime.” Sly and the Family Stone were one of the most celebrated acts at the 1969 Woodstock festival and the documentary film made of the event.

The Sly documentary will be produced by MRC Non-Fiction Partners with Network Entertainment, Two One Five Entertainment, Stardust Films and ID8 Multimedia.

“Sly’s influence on popular music and culture as a whole is immeasurable, and what his career represents is a parable that transcends time and place,” said Amit Dey, head of MRC Non-Fiction, in the Feb. 19, 2021 announcement. “Questlove’s vision, sensitivity and reverence brings the urgency that Sly’s story and music deserve, and we’re excited to be working with him to bring Sly’s story to life.”

Thompson’s directorial debut, Summer of Soul (… Or, When The Revolution Could Not Be Televised),” recently premiered and took the 2021 Sundance Documentary Grand Jury Prize and Audience Award. That film, which tells of the little known 1969 Harlem Cultural Festival, secured a distribution deal with Searchlight Pictures and Hulu.

According to a Feb. 2021 report on, the Sly Stone film “is expected to focus not just on his successes, but also the consequences and cultural expectations of that rise in an era of expanding media, shifting societal norms in the ’60s, the Black Power movement and the backlash that followed.”

On the same day as news of the documentary was revealed, Sony Music released an animated video of “Everyday People”

Related: The story behind Sly’s “Dance to the Music”

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