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Were These Michael Jackson Songs Actually Sung By an Imposter?

Esquire logo Esquire 8/24/2018 Matt Miller
Michael Jackson wearing a costume: These Michael Jackson songs might have actually been sung by an imposter © KMazur These Michael Jackson songs might have actually been sung by an imposter

For most of the last decade, Michael Jackson fans have questioned the authenticity of three songs that appeared on the posthumous album, Michael. Of the many Michael Jackson conspiracy theories out there, this one is absolutely the most believable.

In fact, in 2014, a fan named Vera Serova brought a class action lawsuit against Sony Music, the Jackson estate, and the songwriters/producers alleging that they created fake songs recorded by a Michael Jackson impersonator to include on the 2010 album.

This case actually moved forward this week in a court hearing about the songs in question-“Breaking News,” “Monster” and “Keep Your Head Up,"-which were allegedly sung by Jackson impersonator Jason Malachi (who even admitted to recording the tracks back in 2011). While some outlets were initially reporting that Sony had conceded to using an impersonator on the songs, Variety reported that this was actually false.

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“No one has conceded that Michael Jackson did not sing on the songs,” according to a statement from Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP's Zia Modabber, who represents Jackson's estate and Sony Music. “The hearing Tuesday was about whether the First Amendment protects Sony Music and the Estate and there has been no ruling on the issue of whose voice is on the recordings.”

As Variety reports:

According to sources close to the situation, individuals who attended Tuesday’s court hearing seized upon a statement by an attorney for Jackson’s estate in which he said something to the effect of 'even if the vocals weren’t Jackson’s' as proof that they were indeed faked. The sources insist that the attorney was speculating.

So, in other words, the attorney for Jackson's estate was simply saying if the producers had hypothetically created a fake song to sell albums, then you'd need proof that it created a fake song to sell albums.

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Sony attempted to shut the suit down by filing an anti-Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation motion, a ruling on which is due in the next 90 days.

One thing is clear: it has not been a good week for Michael Jackson.

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