Hong Kong News

Nonpartisan, Noncommercial, unconstrained.
Thursday, Feb 09, 2023

Three contested Michael Jackson songs removed from streaming services

Three contested Michael Jackson songs removed from streaming services

Three Michael Jackson songs have been removed from streaming services, following persistent claims they feature faked vocals.

Monster, Keep Your Head Up and Breaking News all featured on the posthumous 2010 compilation album Michael.

They have since been the subject of a court case brought by a fan, who claims the vocals are by a session singer.

Sony Music and Jackson's estate said their removal from streaming sites had nothing to do with their authenticity.

In a statement, they described the action as "the simplest and best way to move beyond the conversation associated with these tracks once and for all".

The continued: "The focus remains where it belongs - on the exciting new and existing projects celebrating Michael Jackson's legacy", including the Broadway musical MJ and a recently-announced biopic.

"The album's remaining tracks remain available," the statement concluded. "Nothing should be read into this action concerning the authenticity of the tracks - it is just time to move beyond the distraction surrounding them."

Released in 2010, Michael was the first album of outtakes and unreleased music to emerge after Jackson's death from an overdose of propofol in 2009.

Even before it hit the shops, the star's family were raising doubts over whether he had performed on all of the songs.

"I tried so hard to prevent this craziness, but they wouldn't listen," Jackson's nephew Taryll tweeted. "It doesn't sound like him," added Jackson's sister La Toya.

Sony responded with a statement saying it had "complete confidence in the results of our extensive research, as well as the accounts of those who were in the studio with Michael, that the vocals… are his own."


When it was released, the back cover of the Michael album said: "This album contains nine previously unreleased vocal tracks performed by Michael Jackson. These tracks were recently completed using music from the original vocal tracks and music created by the credited producers."

However, after hearing the music, fans were suspicious about three songs, in particular.

The official story is that Jackson wrote and recorded them with the production team Edward Cascio and James Porte in 2007. Yet rumours persisted that the vocals were provided by an American singer called Jason Malachi, who apparently took credit for them in a 2011 Facebook post. (His manager later denied this, claiming the post was faked.)


Court action


Then, in 2014, Jackson fan Vera Serova filed a class-action lawsuit against Cascio, Porte, Sony Music, Jackson estate co-executor John Branca, MJJ Productions (the estate's music arm) and Angelikson Productions (Cascio's production company).

She accused them all of selling her and others a product that had been misrepresented. Separately, she accused Porte, Cascio and Angelikson of conducting an "elaborate artistic fraud" when they sold their tracks to Jackson's estate for millions of dollars.

Jackson's estate and Sony denied the allegations, and an appeals court ultimately ruled in their favour, removing them from the lawsuit.

"Because [they] lacked actual knowledge of the identity of the lead singer on [Breaking News, Monster and Keep Your Head Up], they could only draw a conclusion about that issue from their own research and the available evidence," court documents read.

In that light, judges concluded, any claims made on the album cover or in promotional materials "amounted to a statement of opinion rather than fact".

A second posthumous album, Xscape, was released in 2014. Since then, the star's estate have focused on his classic albums


Serova's case against Angelikson Productions, Cascio and Porte is ongoing. She has also petitioned California's Supreme Court to revive the lawsuit against Sony, while the company has asked for the earlier ruling to be upheld.

None of the legal action has, to date, established the origin of the contested songs.

Fans can no longer judge for themselves, as they have disappeared from Spotify, Apple Music, YouTube and other streaming platforms - although unofficial uploads can still be found.

Newsletter

Related Articles

Hong Kong News
Close
0:00
0:00
Today's news from Britain - 9th February 2023
China has declined the US's request for Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin to speak with Chinese Defense Minister Wei Fenghe after the US Air Force shot down a suspected Chinese spy balloon, according to the Pentagon
The five largest oil companies in the West generated combined profits of nearly $200 billion in 2022, which has led to increased calls for governments to impose tougher windfall taxes
2 earthquakes in Turkey killed over 2,300 people
Powerful Earthquake Strikes Turkey and Syria, Killing More Than 1,300 People.
Turkish photographer Ugur Gallenkus portrays two different worlds within a single image. Brilliant work
Charlie Munger, calls for a ban on cryptocurrencies in the US, following China's lead
Hong Kong airlines taking bold action after the years of pandemic lockdown and travel restrictions, to make Hong Kong great again
EU found a way to use frozen Russian funds
First generation unopened iPhone set to fetch more than $50,000 at auction.
WARNING GRAPHIC CONTENT - US Memphis Police murdering innocent Tyre Nichols
Almost 30% of professionals say they've tried ChatGPT at work
Interpol seeks woman who ran elaborate exam cheating scam in Singapore
Chinese search giant Baidu to launch ChatGPT like AI chatbot.
What is ChatGPT?
Bill Gates is ‘very optimistic’ about the future: ‘Better to be born 20 years from now...than any time in the past’
China is opening up for foreign investors.
Tesla reported record profits and record revenues for 2022
Prince Andrew and Virginia Giuffre Photo Is Fake: Ghislaine Maxwell
Moonwalker Buzz Aldrin Gets Married On His 93rd Birthday
Federal Reserve Probes Goldman’s Consumer Business
China's first population drop in six decades
Microsoft is finalising plans to become the latest technology giant to reduce its workforce during a global economic slowdown
China's foreign ministry branch in Hong Kong urges British gov't to stop the biased and double standards Hong Kong report
China relaxes 'red lines' on property sector borrowing in policy pivot
Tesla slashes prices globally by as much as 20 percent
Japan prosecutors indict man for ex-PM Shinzo Abe murder
Vietnam removes two deputy PMs amid anti-corruption campaign
1.4 Million Copies Of Prince Harry's Memoir 'Spare' Sold On 1st Day In UK
After Failing To Pay Office Rent, Twitter May Sell User Names
FIFA president questioned by prosecutors
Britain's Sunak breaks silence and admits using private healthcare
Hype and backlash as Harry's memoir goes on sale. Unnamed royal source says prince 'kidnapped by cult of psychotherapy and Meghan'
China’s recovery could add 1% to Australia’s GDP: JPMorgan 
Saudi Arabia set to overtake India as fastest-growing major economy this year 
China vows to strengthen financial support for enterprises: official
International medical experts speak out against COVID-19 restrictions on China
2 Billion People To Travel In China's "Great Migration" Over Next 40 Days
Google and Facebook’s dominance in digital ads challenged by rapid ascent of Amazon and TikTok
Flight constraints expected to weigh on China travel rebound
Billionaire Jack Ma relinquishes control of Ant Group
FTX fraud investigators are digging deeper into Sam Bankman-Fried's inner circle – and reportedly have ex-engineer Nishad Singh in their sights
Teslas now over 40% cheaper in China than US
TikTok CEO Plans to Meet European Union Regulators
UK chaos: Hong Kong emigrants duped by false prospectus
China seeks course correction in US ties but will fight ‘all forms of hegemony’, top diplomat Wang Yi says
China will boost spending in 2023
African traders welcome end of China’s Covid travel curbs
France has banned the online sale of paracetamol until February, citing ongoing supply issues
Japan reportedly to give families 1 million yen per child to move out of Tokyo
×