Three songs from Michael Jackson’s 2010 album Michael have been pulled from streaming platforms following allegations that the king of pop never sang the tracks.
Videos by American Songwriter
“Monster,” featuring 50 Cent, “Keep Your Head Up,” and “Breaking News” are no longer available for sale or to stream on Spotify, Apple Music, YouTube, and other platforms worldwide.
A spokesperson for Jackson’s website confirmed three songs were no longer available and stated that the removal “had 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,” said the spokesperson, “on Michael’s legendary and deep music catalog.”
The videos for the three tracks are no longer posted on Jackson’s official YouTube channel but are still available on fan and other channels.
The tracks have been part of an ongoing lawsuit involving Jackson’s estate and Sony Music, which alleges that Jackson never sang the three songs on Michael. In 2014, Vera Serova filed a class-action lawsuit against Sony and the estate over the three songs for violation of consumer laws, unfair competition, and fraud.
In the lawsuit, Serova claimed that three of the 10 tracks on Michael were part of an “elaborate artistic fraud masterminded by co-defendants Eddie Cascio and James Porte,” who sold the tracks, also known as the ‘Cascio tracks,’ to Jackson’s estate for millions of dollars following his death in 2009.
The back cover of the Michael album reads, “This album contains nine previously unreleased vocal tracks performed by Michael Jackson. These tracks were recently completed using music from the original vocal tracks and music created by the credited producers.”
Serova isn’t the only person who believes that Jackson did not sing on the three tracks. Prior to the release of Michael, several members of Jackson’s family said that they believed the songs were fakes. In 2010, Jackson’s mother Katherine Jackson said that “some of the tracks on the album are fake,” while his sister, LaToya Jackson stated “It doesn’t sound like him.” His nephew, Taryll Jackson, and son of brother Tito Jackson added that he was present when the songs were handed over to Sony.
“How they constructed these songs is very sneaky and sly,” tweeted Taryll Jackson. “I know my uncle’s voice, and something’s seriously wrong when you have immediate family saying it’s not him.”
In 2018, Sony and the estate were cleared from the case, and an appeal in 2020. The suit is currently in the California Supreme Court.
Photo: Authentic Brands Group / The Estate of Michael Jackson