The family of the late Small Faces and Humble Pie singer Steve Marriott is fighting against the potential release of AI-generated recordings of his voice.

According to reporting by Variety, the recordings are incomplete but were authorized by Marriott's widow, Toni Marriott, whom he married two years before he died in a fire in 1991. Marriott's children are hoping to keep the recordings from being released, but as he died without a will, British law awards full control of the estate to Toni Marriott.

"The Marriott Estate is due to release an AI solo album of old and new songs of my father, Steve," his daughter, Mollie Marriott, said in a statement. "Sadly, the surviving family which comprises just my siblings Lesley, Toby, Tonya, and I, have nothing to do with the Estate as there was no will. It is run by my stepmother who was only with my father for two years prior to his death and has since been re-married.

“We, along with his bandmates of Humble Pie and Small Faces, are looking to stop this album from happening as it would be a stain on my father's name," she continued. "Someone who was known as one of the greatest vocalists of our generation, with such a live and raw vocal, it would absolutely break his heart if he were alive to know this. This is only for money, not art nor appreciation."

Support From Other Artists

Mollie Marriott and her siblings have received support from a number of high profile musicians, including but not limited to Robert Plant, David Gilmour, Paul Weller and Bryan Adams, plus several of his former bandmates, Peter Frampton and Jerry Shirley (Humble Pie), and Kenney Jones (Small Faces).

"This is a far cry from what any of us dreamt of when we set off into this wonderful world of music," Plant said in a statement. "We just can't stand by and watch this unfold."

"At present there are no confirmed plans to use Steve Marriott's voice on AI recordings," Chris France, managing director of Marriott's estate since 1997, told Variety.  "That does not mean a deal will not be done with one of several suitors who have made offers. ... I am afraid that [Mollie Marriott's] opinions are of no consequence to me or his estate."

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Three years before Marriott's passing, Shirley obtained the sole rights to the name Humble Pie, so although any decisions regarding the band's recordings would need to be approved by both him and the Marriott estate, he does not have control over any recordings outside of Humble Pie. In 2023, Shirley was sent a renewal agreement by Cleopatra Records, the label responsible for releasing some Humble Pie reissues.

"Buried in the renewal contract," he explained to Variety, was a new paragraph addressing AI. Once he understood what it meant, Shirley told France he wanted "nothing to do with it."

To further emphasize his disapproval, Shirley asked Cleopatra to create an AI version of the song "Georgia on My Mind" in the style of Marriott, which he would compare to a real, unreleased recording he had of Marriott singing the song in the '60s. The result, he said, was "horrible."

"It sounded like someone trying to sound like someone trying to sound like Steve Marriott," he said, adding that he would have been paid "around $20,000" had he signed the deal.

"It is the start of a campaign I wish to lead against this sort of thing," Mollie Marriott said in her statement, "where deceased artists have no rights and that everything natural in this world is truly dying, including creativity and the arts, as AI comes into play."

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