When the posthumous Michael Jackson album Michael debuted on the Billboard 100 at No. 3 in 2010, fans were excited, but also not fully convinced that they got a genuine Michael Jackson album. Initial doubts were brushed off by many who believed that the songs were never polished the way the King of Pop would have made them if he was alive to do so. Others theorized he may have sounded off on a few tracks due to a health issue. There were some hardcore MJ fans however that insisted they were not hearing his voice. Eight years later, it appears as if they may be proven right.
In a case in which the estate of Michael Jackson and Sony music have been named as defendants against the charge that they released Michael knowing at least some tracks were not sung by Jackson, expert analysis has concluded that three tracks on the album are not Michael Jackson. The tracks revealed to not be sung by Jackson by forensic audiologist Dr. George Papcun are “Breaking News,” “Keep Your Head Up,” and ‘Monster. His 43 page analysis of the music, hosted on Scribd, details all of the factors that went into proving the songs were performed by an impostor.
It is believed that the person singing those three tracks is Jason Malachi. Sony and the Jackson estate maintain they did not knowingly misrepresent the music. They obtained the tracks in question from Eddie Cascio, owner of Angelikson Productions LLC, and a very close personal friend of the late singer. He claims Jackson worked on the tracks in his New Jersey studio, but has not been able to present any evidence to back that up according to HipHop And More. Sony and the Jackson estate stated they took Cascio at his word and never performed an analysis of the music before releasing it.
Presiding Judge Ann I. Jones of the Los Angeles Superior Court lectured Sony lawyer Zia Modabber for trying to claim ignorance and shift all of the blame onto Cascio and his associate James Porte for the misrepresentation of the music.
“I think what he is saying here is. ‘We were as duped as the Plaintiffs… We didn’t know you guys were recording stuff in a basement that wasn’t recorded by Michael. You told us it was Michael. We believed it was Michael. And if there is a bad guy here, who was engaging in false commercial speech, it’s not us.’”
The three judges hearing the case have 90 days to reach a decision on this phase of the case which hinges on assigning blame, and several first amendment concerns related to Sony’s advertising and promotion of the album and singles. In a statement released by Sony after the hearing, they state that neither they, nor anyone else, has conceded that Jackson did not sing the songs in question according to Variety.
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