Jimi Hendrix's estate has filed a lawsuit against the heirs of the music icon's former bandmates, bassist Noel Redding and drummer Mitch Mitchell.
Experience Hendrix LLC and Sony Music Entertainment received a legal notice last month from a lawyer for Redding and Mitchell's heirs, claiming that the drummer and bassist were owed millions in unpaid royalties.
The Hendrix estate responded preemptively by filing a lawsuit, seeking a "declaratory judgment of ownership and non-infringement," asking a judge to set the record straight. The estate claims that legal action by Redding or Mitchell was barred under agreements dating back to the mid-'70s.
Redding, Mitchell and Hendrix made three hit studio albums between 1967 and 1968 as members of the Jimi Hendrix Experience. The trio broke up in 1969, with Hendrix passing away a year later. Redding died in 2003; Mitchell died in 2008.
According to Rolling Stone, the attorney for Experience Hendrix argues that Redding and Mitchell released Hendrix's estate from future legal claims over royalties, per deals they each signed in 1973 and '74, respectively. Both musicians were paid under terms of the agreements.
The lawyer for Redding and Mitchell's heirs argues that those deals are no longer enforceable and that both musicians "died in relative poverty having never received their true entitlement from their works, performances and founding membership of the Jimi Hendrix Experience."