Michael Jackson’s Estate Settle With Sony Music Over Alleged Fake Songs

Sony and Michael Jackson's estate have reached a settlement to a lawsuit over claims the label released songs that were allegedly sung by an impersonator.

Michael Jackson performs at the Super Bowl Halftime Show

Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage

Michael Jackson performs at the Super Bowl Halftime Show

Sony Music and Michael Jackson’s estate have reached a settlement to end a long-running lawsuit over claims that the label released posthumous songs that were allegedly sung by a “Jackson impersonator.”

Billboardreports both parties on Wednesday agreed to formally end the lawsuit with a settlement. 

“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 and Jackson’s estate said in a joint statement to Billboard.

The news arrives eight years after a fan filed a lawsuit against Jackson’s estate and Sony Music for allegedly using fake vocals on three tracks off the singer’s 2010 posthumous album Michael. A judge ruled in 2018 that both sides did not know for sure whether Jackson sang on the songs in question, however they were not liable for the charges filed by the fan. 

Back in July, Sony pulled the three songs from Spotify, Apple Music and YouTube Music. At the time, a spokesperson for Jackson’s official website told American Songwriter the move “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.”

On Wednesday, both parties maintained that the decision to remove the songs from streaming services offered “the simplest and best way to move beyond the conversation associated with these tracks once and for all.”

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