Michael Jackson Estate & Sony Music Settle “Jackson Impersonator” Suit

Videos by American Songwriter

Videos by American Songwriter

A lengthy lawsuit against the Michael Jackson estate and Sony Music claiming that a posthumous album featuring “a Jackson impersonator” was false advertising has been settled.

A year after the legendary King of Pop died, a posthumous compilation album was released by the Michael Jackson estate. That album is titled Michael and is the subject of the aforementioned lawsuit. The plaintiff in this case, Vera Serova, claimed that three tracks on Michael did not actually feature Jackson’s vocals. Those three songs—“Monster,” “Keep Your Head Up,” and “Breaking News”—have subsequently been pulled from streaming platforms.

Now, the case has been settled in its entirety.

The settlement was reached as the two sides of the case were waiting for a decision from the California Supreme Court.

“Regardless of how the Supreme Court may rule, the parties to the lawsuit mutually decided to end the litigation, which would have potentially included additional appeals and a lengthy trial court process,” Sony said in a statement. The music company then added that “the simplest and best way to move beyond the conversation associated with these tracks once and for all.”

The plaintiff confirmed that the suit was “amicably resolved.”

In another high-profile statement last year, the former California Attorney General, Xavier Becerra, chimed in with support for Serova.

“The First Amendment should not privilege a seller’s misrepresentations simply because the seller lacks firsthand knowledge whether or not its claims are false,” Becerra said at the time. “Under California’s consumer protection laws, buyers have a right to be accurately informed about the content and authenticity of the products they purchase—whether or not related to an entertainment medium, and whether or not connected in some way to a public figure or controversy of public interest.”

The three songs remain excluded from Michael on streaming platforms, but they can be found through fan accounts on YouTube.

Photo Credit: Francis Sylvain/AFP via Getty Images

Leave a Reply

The Red Hot Chili Peppers pictured together years after the success of "Californicacation."

The Dark Meaning of “Californication” by The Red Hot Chili Peppers

Rage Against the Machine Cancels 2022 European Tour Per Doctor’s Advice for Frontman Zack de la Rocha