Why Is the Jimi Hendrix Estate Being Sued?

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The estate of Jimi Hendrix is facing a lawsuit.

Jimi Hendrix is a musical legend.

Dying before his 28th birthday, Hendrix left the world with an amazingly unique music collection.

Although born in the United States, Jimi Hendrix found his musical home in the United Kingdom.

According to a recent Rolling Stone article titled “Jimi Hendrix Experience (Heirs’ Lawsuit) Headed Back to England,” he combined his guitar genius with the talents of drummer Mitch Mitchell and bassist Noel Redding for the Jimi Hendrix Experience.

Jimi Hendrix was a talented musician.
The estate of Jimi Hendrix is being sued for royalties.

The Jimi Hendrix Experience was formed in 1966 and disbanded in June 1969 when Redding stepped away.

Although no longer the Jimi Hendrix Experience, Mitchell played with Jimi Hendrix at various times until Hendrix died in September 1970.

Since then, both Mitchell and Redding have also died.

Of the two, Noel Redding passed away first in May 2003 and left his estate to his partner Deborah McNaughton.

After the death of Deborah, her sisters became heirs.

Mitch Mitchell died in November 2008 and left his estate to his daughter Aysha.

More than 50 years after his death, the estate of Jimi Hendrix is creating waves across the Atlantic.

Experience Hendrix, LLC, Sony, and the estates of Redding and Mitchell have filed lawsuits in recent years.

What is the purpose of these lawsuits?

The lawsuits focus on copyright claims and royalties.

Redding and Mitchell signed contracts with Experience Hendrix and Sony in 1973 and 1974.

These contracts made the two Brits promise to release the Hendrix estate from legal claims and not sue the estate.

British attorney Lawrence Abramson sent a letter to Sony in December 2021 claiming the agreements are no longer binding and the estates are owed performance royalties for around 3 billion streams.

The estimated value for these is in the millions of pounds.

In response, Experience Hendrix and Sony filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court in the Southern District of New York in January.

Their lawsuit essentially requested a ruling in favor of the estate of Jimi Hendrix regarding ownership and non-infringement.

To counter this suit, the heirs of Mitchell and Redding filed a lawsuit in February.

Judge Ronnie Abrams ruled for the claims to be heard and settled in the United Kingdom courts before resolving the cases in the United States.

The reason cited is that the lawsuits were first filed in the United Kingdom.

Both Jimi Hendrix’s estate and Redding and Mitchell’s estates are hopeful for favorable outcomes.

ReferenceRolling Stone (May 19, 2023) “Jimi Hendrix Experience (Heirs’ Lawsuit) Headed Back to England

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