Monday, June 17, 2024

Fifth Beatle Billy Preston Died 18 Years Ago Today, Estate Still Not Settled But Signs Are Good


Believe it or not, Billy Preston’s estate still has not been settled.

The so called Fifth Beatle died 18 years ago today after many months in a coma. He was only 59.

Every year I write this story, with little progress in the proceedings. The hold up comes from faux family members who keep holding on in court. Real family members, who Billy didn’t like anyway, filed a probate action for him three days before he died. They were certainly anxious to get rid of him.

What’s holding all of this up? The woman who claims to be Preston’s sister (and has no proof) is in the California courts saying that was where Preston was domiciled because that’s where he died. In fact, he lived in Arizona, and the fake sister even said so when he died in 2006.

So did Preston’s 2006 death certificate. The California courts said back then– two months before Billy died, in an application for conservatorship: “The court finds that it does not have jurisdiction over the assets and estate of Conservatee, as he has filed a Chapter 11 Petition in U.S. Bankruptcy Court-Central district of California and further, find that the Conservatee is a permanent residence of Arizona.”

Everyone hopes this will be over by the end of the summer. The singer — whose hits included “Nothing from Nothing,” “Will it Go Round in Circles,” and “You Are So Beautiful” — is the subject of a documentary we may see in 2025. Fingers crossed it will concentrate on Preston’s enormous music legacy so his memory is preserved for future generations. In the meantime, you can see Billy in both the new version of “Let it Be” on Disney Plus, and the “Get Back” mini-doc from Peter Jackson.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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