Saturday, May 30, 2009

Sly and the Family Stone - Everybody is a Star

"Everybody Is a Star", released in December 1969, is a 1970 hit single recorded by Sly & the Family Stone. The song, double a-sided with "Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin)", reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100 in February 1970 and was the final classic-era Family Stone recording. "Star" was intended to be included on an in-progress album with "Thank You" and "Hot Fun in the Summertime"; the LP was never completed, and the three tracks were instead included on the band's 1970 Greatest Hits LP. "Thank You" and "Star", the final Family Stone recordings issued in the 1960s, marked the beginning of a twenty-month gap of releases from the band, which would finally end with the release of "Family Affair" in 1971.

Sly, his siblings Freddie Stone and Rose Stone, and Larry Graham trade bars for the lead vocal, delivering Sly's assurance that every person is special in their own way. The song with which "Star" originally shared a 7" single, "Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin)", marks the beginning of the Family Stone's second era, during which the music would take on a darker, more funk-based feel.

The song has been covered by several acts, including The Jackson 5, The Pointer Sisters, Fishbone with Gwen Stefani and Family Stone member Rose Stone, and others. The Roots sampled the song for their 2004 single "Star", from their LP The Tipping Point. This version of the song, featuring Roots MC Black Thought commenting on how people attempt to earn fame in the wrong way, was also included on a Family Stone tribute/covers album, Different Strokes by Different Folks, released in July 2005.

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