Bad news for Michael Jackson fans. Three songs from the King of Pop’s catalog, “Monster” featuring 50 Cent, “Keep Your Head Up,” and “Breaking News,” have been pulled from streaming services. As the three songs were featured from MJ’s posthumous 2010 album Michael, fans and members of the Jackson family have questioned whether the vocals are Jackson’s own.
As a result of the controversy, Sony Music – which manages the rights to MJ’s catalog – has removed the songs from streaming services including Spotify, Apple Music, and YouTube Music, per American Songwriter.
A spokesperson for Jackson’s website has stated that the three songs’ removal “had nothing to do with their authenticity.”
“I should point out that the removal of these three songs has nothing to do with their authenticity,” the spokesperson said. “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.”
The removal comes eight years after a fan filed a class-action lawsuit, claiming that fake vocals were used on the aforementioned tracks, per Variety. In 2018, a judge ruled that it was uncertain if Jackson sang on the tracks, thus clearing his estate and Sony Music.
“Because [Sony Music, MJJ Productions and the Jackson estate] 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 stated. “Under these circumstances, [Sony Music, MJJ Productions and the Jackson estate’s] representations about the identity of the singer amounted to a statement of opinion rather than fact.”
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