October 13, 1997 12:00 AM

Rock legend Chuck Berry, 74, who was honored on Sunday at the Kennedy Center Honors, is being sued in federal court by Johnnie Johnson, 76, who is said to have had a hand in at least 50 Berry hits. In his court papers, the plaintiff says that Berry took advantage of Johnson’s alcoholism and misled him into believing that only Berry was entitled to the copyrights for such songs as “Roll Over Beethoven” and “Sweet Little Sixteen.” Johnson is asking for half of the “tens of millions of dollars in royalties, license fees and other payments” the songs have brought in, according to the suit. A lawyer for Berry told the Associated Press that the lawsuit will be “completely defended,” with no chance of a settlement.

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