Sony Admits: We Released Fake Michael Jackson Songs
In 2010, Sony Music Entertainment released a posthumous album of what it said were unreleased tracks by the late entertainer Michael Jackson. Now the company has admitted that at least some of those songs were never sung by the King of Pop.
The record label says it was duped by two producers regarding three songs, “Breaking News”, “Monster” and “Keep Your Head Up”—all of which appeared on 2010’s Michael, according to Vibe and various other music industry news outlets. The admission was reportedly made during a court hearing.
Epic Records, which released Michael, did not immediately reply to a request for comment from Fortune, but lawyers representing Sony and Jackson’s estate have since clarified the statement.
The songs were controversial from the beginning. Several fans, as well as two of Jackson’s children and his mother Katherine, questioned whether the vocals actually were Jackson, who died in 2009.
Producers Eddie Cascio and James Porte claimed the songs had been recorded in the basement of Cascio’s house in 2007, but skepticism grew, and in 2014, a fan sued the producers and Sony (which bought Jackson’s stake in EMI Music earlier this year), saying the music wasn’t Jackson’s.
Serova reportedly testified in Los Angeles Superior Court that the songs were recorded by an impersonator named Jason Malachi, which led to Sony’s admission.
As of Friday morning, there was no decision from the court on whether Jackson’s estate would receive damages from the claims or if Sony would be responsible for issuing refunds for the album.