After persistent claims that they contain fake vocals, three Michael Jackson songs were removed from streaming services.
Michael, the posthumous compilation album featuring Monster, Keep Your head Up and Breaking News, was released in 2010.
A fan brought a lawsuit against them, claiming that the vocals were performed by a session artist.
Sony Music and Jackson's estate claimed that their removal from streaming websites had nothing to do their authenticity.
They stated that the action was "the simplest way to get beyond the conversation associated these tracks once for all".
Continued: "The focus stays where it belongs – on the exciting new projects celebrating Michael Jackson’s legacy," including the Broadway musical MJ, and a newly-announced biopic.
The statement concluded that "the remaining tracks of the album remain available." "This action should not be taken to question the authenticity of the tracks. It is time to move past the distractions surrounding them.
Michael, an album of unreleased and outtakes music that Jackson released in 2010, was the first to be released after his death in 2009 from an overdose on propofol.
Before the album hit the shelves, his family was speculating about whether he had actually performed all the songs.
Jackson's nephew Taryll wrote, "I tried so hard for this craziness to stop but they wouldn't listen," Jackson's sister La Toya added, "It doesn’t sound like him."
Sony replied with a statement stating that it believed the results of its extensive research and the accounts of those who were present with Michael, that the vocals... were his.
The back cover of Michael's album stated that it contained nine previously unreleased Michael Jackson vocal tracks. These tracks were completed recently using music from the original vocal tracks as well as music created by the credited producer.
Fans were however suspicious of three songs in particular after hearing the music.
Officially, Jackson recorded the songs with James Porte and Edward Cascio in 2007. Rumours persist that Jason Malachi, an American singer, provided the vocals. He claimed credit in a Facebook post from 2011. His manager later denied that he had done so, saying the post was fake.
In 2014, Vera Serova, a Jackson fan, filed a class action lawsuit against Cascio and Porte, Sony Music. Also, John Branca, Jackson estate coexecutor, MJJ Productions, Angelikson Productions, Cascio’s production company, and Sony Music.
She accused them of trying to sell her and others a product that was misrepresented. Separately, she accused Angelikson, Cascio, and Porte of committing an "elaborate artistic scam" when they sold their tracks for millions to Jackson's estate.
Sony and Jackson's estate denied the allegations. An appeals court ruled in their favor, thus removing them all from the lawsuit.
"Because they didn't have any actual knowledge about the identity of [Breaking News], Monster, and Keep Your Head Up], [they] could only draw a conclusion about the issue from their research and the evidence," court documents stated.
Judges concluded that any claims made in the promotional materials or on the album cover "amounted more to an opinion than a fact"
Serova's lawsuit against Angelikson Productions and Cascio and Porte are ongoing. In California, Serova has petitioned the Supreme Court to reopen the case against Sony. The company has requested that the earlier ruling be upheld.
None of the legal actions have, to this date, established the source of the disputed songs.
They are no longer available on Spotify, Apple Music and YouTube. However, unofficial uploads can still exist.
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