Sony Music says the removal of three Michael Jackson songs from streaming services has nothing to do with their controversial authenticity.
In a statement to the fan page Bake the maska representative from the record company confirmed that three tracks from the posthumous compilation album Michael has been removed from streaming services and made inaccessible for digital purchases.
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The current tracks – “Keep Your Head Up”, “Monster” (feat. 50 Cent) and “Breaking News” – have long been the subject of question as to whether they contain Jackson’s true vocals.
All three tracks are credited to Jackson, as well as Eddie Cascio and James Porte, and are generally referred to as the Cascio tracks.
“I can confirm that the three Cascio tracks on the 2010 album Michael will no longer be made available by Sony Music for purchase or streaming, but I should point out that the removal of these three songs has nothing to do with their authenticity, the statement from the representative said. “The Estate and Sony Music believe the ongoing conversation about the tracks distracts the fan community and casual Michael Jackson listeners from focusing their attention where it should be – on Michael’s legendary and deep music catalog.”
Over the years, everyone from Jackson’s mother, sister La Toya, nephew Taryll, and children Prince and Paris, have all questioned the authenticity of the vocals on the Cascio tracks.
At the time of the album’s release in 2010, Sony Music Group said they had “full confidence in the results of our extensive research, as well as the stories of those who were in the studio with Michael, that the vocals on the new album are his own.”
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Things escalated into a legal case in 2014 when a fan filed a class action lawsuit against the brand and Jackson’s property, as well as producers Cascio and Porte for breaches of consumer laws, unfair competition and fraud.
A panel of appeals judges ruled in favor of Sony and the estate in August 2018, removing both parties from the appeal, although both Cascio and Porte are still in the case, which is currently in the California Supreme Court.