Aerosmith frontman Steven Tyler has blasted reports funk legend Sly Stone is using drugs again, insisting the FAMILY AFFAIR singer is "sharp" and "astute".

Concerns for Stone's health were sparked when he appeared at the Grammy Awards earlier this month (FEB06), when he was introduced onstage by Tyler as part of a tribute to him.

Dressed in a silver suit and sporting a white mohawk haircut, he seemed less than comfortable to be back on stage, made no contact with the stars honouring him, and left before the song was over.

But Tyler caught up with his hero backstage and insists people are reading too much into Stone's stage appearance.

He says, "I take great pride in knowing that if I just met you, I could tell if you were on blow, pot or you just yelled at your old lady.

"Sly looked great. He was sharp, astute."