Bob Marley's former bass player is stirring up a legal battle.
Aston "Family Man" Barrett, who played in The Wailers for almost a decade, has sued the late reggae legend's family and record label in London's High Court for what he claims is his rightful share of Marley's royalties.
According to his filing, Barrett is seeking $105 million from the Marley family and Island-Universal Records Ltd. based on royalties from a 1974 contract with the label, plus earnings from songs he cowrote with Marley.
The suit was also brought on behalf of Barrett's late brother, Carlton, who played drums in the band.
"Aston Barrett and his brother literally created the sound of the Wailers, though not for a minute to detract from the extraordinary songwriting ability of Mr. Marley," lawyer Stephen Bate told the court, per Reuters.
"It was the Barretts' unique sound which brought the Wailers international success," he added. "The Barretts were the bedrock of the music."
Barrett, now in his 60s and the father of no less than 52 children, claims in his suit that Marley, who died in 1981, promised the members of the band equal shares of the royalties from hit albums including Babylon by Bus, Natty Dread and Rastaman Vibration.
However, Island-Universal and the Marley family claim that Barrett surrendered his rights to any further royalties in a 1994 settlement in exchange for several hundred thousand dollars.
Thursday's hearing was attended by Marley's widow, Rita Marley, but it is not known whether she will testify during the trial, which is expected to last about three weeks.