Back in 2014, a fan filed a lawsuit against Michael Jackson's estate and Sony Music for allegedly using fake vocals on three songs released as a part of 2010's posthumous Michael album. Tuesday afternoon, appeals court judges ruled in favor of Sony Music and the estate, clearing them from the class-action lawsuit.
Before Tuesday's ruling, the case had received heavy media coverage this month when someone misinterpreted words from Sony Music and claimed the label had admitted to using a Michael Jackson interpreter on the songs. An attorney representing Sony and the estate later clarified that those reports were not accurate.
According to Variety, judges ruled on Tuesday that Sony and the estate did not know for sure whether Jackson sang on the three songs in question, and the album’s promotional materials were not "strictly commercial speech," so 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 say. "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."
Of course, that doesn't answer the question most Michael Jackson fans are dying to know: Are the vocals on "Breaking News," "Monster," and "Keep Your Head Up" real or not? Many suspect that a singer named Jason Malachi is the one who actually performed the songs. Malachi even admitted it was him on Facebook in 2011, but his manager later said the post was faked.
So, the mystery continues. But in the meantime, Sony Music and Jackson's estate are off the hook in this specific lawsuit. "We had a total victory in the appellate court in the Vera Serova Class Action matter," attorney for the estate Howard Weitzman said in a statement.