Three Michael Jackson songs have been removed from streaming services following claims the famed singer did not in fact sing them. The tracks in question – ‘Breaking News’, ‘Keep Your Head Up’, and ‘Monster’ – were included on Jackson’s posthumous 2010 album, Michael.
Per American Songwriter reports, a statement from the Jackson estate has disputed the claim, noting, “the removal of these three songs has nothing to do with their authenticity”. “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,” they continue.
Michael Jackson – ‘Monster’
Questions in regards to the authenticity of the tracks were first raised in the immediate aftermath of the record’s release. Taryll Jackson, Michael’s nephew, Tweeted his concerns in November of 2010.
“I KNOW my Uncle’s voice and something’s seriously wrong when you have immediate FAMILY saying it’s not him,” he wrote. “Don’t you have to wonder why? I have strong, undeniable points. They can’t give me answers, yet continue to move forward with lies and deception. Sounding like Michael Jackson and BEING Michael Jackson are two different things.”
Sony had previously affirmed the authenticity of the songs in a 2010 statement, noting that, “We have complete confidence in the results of our extensive research as well as the accounts of those who were in the studio with Michael that the vocals on the new album are his own.”
In 2014, a lawsuit was filed by Jackson fan Vera Serova, accusing Sony, Jackson’s close friend Eddie Casico, and his production company Angelikson Productions, claiming that the three songs were in fact sung by an impersonator named Jason Malachi. Despite media reports claiming that Sony had admitting to utilising faked songs on the album, the label issued a statement saying, “No one has conceded that Michael Jackson did not sing on the songs.”
Per the statement released by the Jackson estate in recent days, plans for a 40th anniversary edition of Thriller are underway, and his estate do not want the majority of focus on Jackson to be placed on questions of his authenticity. As it stands, the three tracks are currently unavailable in an official capacity on streaming services, including YouTube.