The record label say reports in the media of this being the case are incorrect
Sony Music have released a statement to Variety today (August 24) denying that they have released “fake” Michael Jackson songs posthumously, contrary to reports earlier this week.
Earlier this week, reports emerged that three “Michael Jackson” songs Sony released posthumously on 2010’s ‘Michael’ were not in fact by the artist, but an impersonator.
The songs ‘Breaking News’, ‘Monster’ and ‘Keep Your Head Up’ were said to have been recorded by the singer the year before his death.
However, a fan – named as Vera Serova in court documents – brought a class action lawsuit against Sony Music, the Jackson estate and Eddie Cascio, a Jackson collaborator whose production company (Angelikson Productions) is said to have sold the songs in question to Sony, in 2014.
Serova is said to have employed the services of a forensic audiologist, Dr George Papcun, to compare Jackson’s voice to those on the recording. According to The Mirror, the audiologist concluded that the voice “very likely did not belong to Michael Jackson.”
Whilst media reports emerged that Sony had conceded that the songs were “faked”, the record company is now denying this is the case. Speaking to Variety, they said: “No one has conceded that Michael Jackson did not sing on the songs.”
It continues: “The hearing Tuesday [August 21] was about whether the First Amendment protects Sony Music and the Estate and there has been no ruling on the issue of whose voice is on the recordings.”
Variety also added: “According to sources close to the situation, individuals who attended Tuesday’s court hearing seized upon a statement by an attorney for Jackson’s estate in which he said something to the effect of ‘even if the vocals weren’t Jackson’s’ as proof they were indeed faked. The sources insist that the attorney was speculating.”
According to court documents, Sony is arguing that the songs were provided to them in good faith by Cascio’s production company and James Porte, a supposed co-writer of the disputed songs.
Jackson died in 2009, just before he was due to make a series of high-profile comeback shows. His label released a tribute to the late singer in the days after his death, describing him as “a brilliant troubadour for his generation, a genius whose music reflected the passion and creativity of an era.”
This is a developing story. NME have reached out to Sony for comment.