The TRUE reason Sony removed three Michael Jackson tracks from every streaming service
Whenever we talk about music and its history, one name would always come out on top as one of the greats and it’s none other than Michael Jackson. Known as the ‘King of Pop’, Jackson has been one of the most influential names in the music industry and gave numerous chart-toppers in his career. Apart from music, controversies have also been a big part of his life and it seems the latest controversy has forced Sony to remove some of the songs that were produced by Jackson.
In 2014, a woman named Vera Serova sued Sony Music and filed a lawsuit for violations of the Unfair Competition Law and the Consumers Legal Remedies Act due to claims that Jackson was misrepresented as the lead singer of three tracks, including ‘Breaking News’, ‘Keep Your Head Up’, and ‘Monster’. All the aforementioned songs are from the 2010 album ‘Monster’ which was released almost a year after Jackson’s tragic death. Jackson's estate and Sony denied the allegations, and an appeals court ultimately ruled in their favor, removing them from the lawsuit.
Over the years, a lot of fans have joined the conversation and insisted that Jackson didn’t sing those songs.
To bury the matter once and for all, Sony Music and Michael Jackson’s estate have taken the decision to “remove” the songs from all the streaming services in an effort to “move beyond” the controversy, according to Variety. Even though they have removed the tracks from several streaming websites, the statement made it clear that the decision has not been taken due to the “authenticity of the tracks”.
“I should point out that the removal of these three songs has nothing to do with their authenticity. The Estate of Michael Jackson and Sony Music decided to remove the tracks ‘Breaking News’, ‘Monster’, and ‘Keep Your Head Up’ from the 2010 album ‘Michael’ as the simplest and best way to move beyond the conversation associated with these tracks once and for all. The album’s remaining tracks remain available. Nothing should be read into this action concerning the authenticity of the tracks – it is just time to move beyond the distraction surrounding them,” the spokesperson said in the statement.
Sony acquired the rights of the singer’s unreleased materials in a whopping $250 million deal in 2010 and when the album titled ‘Michael’ was released, it was stated that the songs have been written and produced by the ‘Thriller’ hitmaker along with Edward Cascio and James Porte in 2007.
However, it seems fans were not convinced with that and believed that someone else’s voice has been used in the tracks. The issue became so big that Sony had come out with a statement at the time and assured fans that the vocals belonged to Jackson. But it was not just the fans who felt that way, some of Jackson’s close ones also raised doubts over whether the singer performed these songs or not.
Michael Jackson’s nephew Taryll Jackson expressed disappointment on the same and tweeted, “I am shocked that things have gotten this far. This is ridiculous. I was at the studio when these questionable files were delivered. I tried so hard to prevent this craziness, but they wouldn't listen.”
As of now, Serova's case against Angelikson Productions, Cascio, and Porte is ongoing. Meanwhile, she has also asked the Supreme Court of California to reopen the lawsuit against Sony.