Sony Removes Three Posthumous Michael Jackson Songs From Streaming Services Because Fans Think He Didn’t Sing On Them
In 2010, the year after Michael Jackson’s death, Sony Music released Michael, the first posthumous collection of Jackson’s unreleased songs. That album eventually went platinum, but three songs on that album have long been a sore spot for Jackson fans. The story is that people don’t believe that Michael Jackson really sang on the songs “Breaking News,” “Keep Your Head Up,” and the 50 Cent collaboration “Monster.” The official story is that Jackson recorded all three songs with the songwriting and production team Edward Cascio and James Porte in 2007. But fans have long believed that the vocals on those songs really come from session singer Jason Malachi.
The questions over the authenticity of those songs have persisted for years, and even Jackson’s own family members have expressed doubts. Malachi reportedly admitted that he’d sang the songs in a 2011 Facebook post, but the post was deleted, and Malachi’s manager claimed that the post was fake. In 2014, fan Vera Serova filed a class action lawsuit over the allegedly fake vocals, and an appeals court ruled that it didn’t matter whether Jackson had really sung on those songs or not.
Now, American Songwriter reports that Sony has removed all three songs from streaming services like YouTube, Spotify, and Apple Music. In a statement to a fan page, a spokesperson for Jackson’s estate says, “The removal of these three songs has nothing to do with their authenticity. The Estate and Sony Music believe the continuing conversation about the tracks is distracting the fan community and casual Michael Jackson listeners from focusing their attention where it should be — on Michael’s legendary and deep music catalog.” One might, however, argue that removing those songs is even more distracting than leaving them up.