The songs in question, “Monster” featuring 50 Cent, “Keep Your Head Up,” and “Breaking News,” all appeared on Jackson’s 2010 posthumous project Michael. As a result, only seven songs from the 10-track album are now available on Spotify, Apple Music, and YouTube Music.
A spokesperson for Jackson’s official website told the outlet 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.”
Jackson’s estate and Sony Music told USA Today via a statement that, “Nothing should be read into this action concerning the authenticity of the tracks –it is just time to move beyond the distraction surrounding them.”
The news arrives eight years after a fan filed a lawsuit against Jackson’s estate and Sony Music for allegedly using fake vocals on the aforementioned tracks. A judge ruled in 2018 that both parties 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.
“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.”