Despite recent reports, Sony Music Entertainment is not admitting to putting out fake Michael Jackson songs.
In 2014, a fan named Vera Serova filed a class-action lawsuit against the record company. She alleged that the King of Pop may not be the lead singer heard on the songs “Breaking News,” “Monster” and “Keep Your Head Up,” featured on the 2010 album Michael. It is the first of two posthumous LPs released after Jackson’s 2009 death.
“No one has conceded that Michael Jackson did not sing on the songs,” Sony Music said in a statement to Variety on Friday.
The record label’s comments come days after a hearing over the lawsuit, which it said “was about whether the First Amendment protects Sony Music and the Estate,” adding, “There has been no ruling on the issue of whose voice is on the recordings.”
Recent reports have alleged that Sony Music had recently admitted in court that the three songs were recorded by an impersonator.
Variety quoted sources close to the situation as saying that individuals who attended Tuesday’s court hearing seized upon a statement by an attorney for Jackson’s estate, which was something to the effect of “even if the vocals weren’t Jackson’s” as proof that they were indeed faked. The sources told the outlet that the attorney was speculating. In addition, the hearing dealt with whether the album’s linear notes, which read in part, “This album contains 9 previously unreleased vocal tracks performed by Michael Jackson,” are protected by the First Amendment, Variety said.
According to the lawsuit, Sony Music had stated in 2010, “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.”
The lawsuit also states that Howard Weitzman, an attorney for Jackson’s estate, also released a statement citing several music producers, engineers, vocal directors, executives and musicologists as concluding that the King of Pop performed the lead vocals on the three tracks.
The plaintiff said in the lawsuit that she had an independent audio expert assess the songs and that he “concluded that it was very likely that Michael Jackson did not sing the lead vocals.”