Funk star Sly Stone missed out on dress rehearsals for his own Grammy Awards tribute because security staff thought he was a vagrant.

The reclusive FAMILY AFFAIR singer was honoured as part of an all-star jam at the glitzy ceremony earlier this month (FEB06) - but he couldn't get access to Los Angeles' Staples Center for a rehearsal date.

An awards show source tells Rolling Stone magazine, "Sly couldn't get past security. Apparently they thought he was a homeless guy."

But Grammy bosses were secretly relieved by his pre-show no show - because Stone didn't seem to be too grateful about the tribute being paid to him.

The source adds, "Sly came in a sort of Unabomber camouflage get-up that hid his face. He ran through the number without playing or singing much - or talking to the people onstage - and then fled."

On the night of the Grammys, Stone appeared briefly during a tribute finale. Dressed in a silver suit and sporting a white mohawk haircut, he seemed less than comfortable to be back on stage and left before the song was over.