Three Michael Jackson Songs Removed From Streaming Services Amid Debate on Authenticity


Three songs from Michael, a posthumous 2010 compilation, have been removed from streaming services amid ongoing suspicions that they contain forgeries of late Michael Jackson’s vocals, Sony and the pop star’s estate said on Wednesday. Breaking News, Monster, and Keep Your Head Up appear on the album, released a year after the King of Pop died at age 50 from a drug-induced cardiac arrest.

Some fans have long argued that the vocals on the tracks actually belong to an American session singer by the name of Jason Malachi. Sony has denied these claims.

The record company and Jackson’s estate said that they had decided to remove the songs “as the simplest and best way to move beyond the conversation associated with these tracks once and for all”. Their joint statement read, “Nothing should be read into this action concerning the authenticity of the tracks – it is just time to move beyond the distraction surrounding them.” Seven other tracks on the compilation track would remain available.

On its release in December 2010, Michael was billed as containing unreleased songs that were “recently completed using music from the original vocal tracks and music created by the credited producers”. Jackson is supposed to have written and recorded them with producers Edward Cascio and James Porte in 2007.

But ardent fans and even some Jackson family members expressed skepticism and Sony was forced to release a statement saying it had “complete confidence” that the vocals belonged to Jackson. According to reports, Malachi admitted in a 2011 Facebook post that the songs were actually sung by him. However, his manager later denied it, claiming the post was fake.

In 2014, fan Vera Serova launched a class-action lawsuit in California against Sony, Jackson’s estate, Cascio, and Porte, accusing them of lying to consumers. An appeals court ruled in favor of Sony and the estate in 2018, removing them from the suit. Serova then appealed to California’s supreme court, according to TMZ. The judges did not take a stance on whether Jackson had actually sung the songs, and the controversy has not gone away.

(With AFP inputs)

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