Controversial Michael Jackson Tracks Were Released After His Passing With Fans Questioning Their Authencity

In 2010, posthumous Michael Jackson tracks were released, however, some were surrounded by controversy.

Controversial Michael Jackson Tracks Were Released
Via: Deposit


When music icon Michael Jackson suddenly passed away in June 2009, it shocked the world. Months later, the legendary artist’s first posthumous song was released and proved to be a success. “This Is It”, which was later revealed to be a song Jackson co-wrote and recorded with Paul Anka in 1980, demonstrated that fans desired posthumous content from Jackson.

As a result, Sony released Jackson’s first posthumous album, entitled “Michael”, in December 2010. The album boasted ten tracks, including previously unreleased songs and reworked demos. Three of “Michael”‘s tracks received significant controversy, however, eventually leading them to be removed from streaming services in 2022.

Why Did Three Tracks From “Michael” Receive Controversy?

Once Michael Jackson passed away, Sony went hard to work to satisfy fans with content. The company recognized that Jackson’s popularity was at an impressive high following his passing and that fans wanted to feel close to the performer following his death. Its first move was releasing a concert documentary, Michael Jackson’s This Is It, in October 2009. The film showcased a selection of footage from Jackson’s rehearsals for his planned comeback residency in London, England. The film and its companion album featured “This Is It.”

Michael Jackson cried backstage because he was unhappy with his groundbreaking performance on the “Motown 25” special.

A little more than a year later, Sony released “Michael.” The album featured collaborations with artists such as Akon, 50 Cent, and Lenny Kravitz, according to Jackson’s official website. “Hold My Hand”, Jackson’s duet with Akon, was the first single to be released for the album.

Akon reportedly saw a different side of the singer when they spent time together collaborating, with Jackson even fooling Akon with a crazy disguise. The album, which was released on December 10th, 2010, featured tracks from a variety of eras in Jackson’s esteemed career. The majority of the album’s material was claimed to be recent projects Jackson had been recording prior to his passing.

Michael Jackson court appearance 2005
Via: Depositphotos


While “Michael” was well received, three songs from the album in particular received controversy from fans and Jackson’s own family. These tracks were “Keep Your Head Up”, “Monster (featuring 50 Cent)”, and “Breaking News.” According to Entertainment Weekly, the reason for such controversy was the tracks’ authenticity. Both members of Jackson’s family and fans questioned whether the vocals on the tracks were truly Jackson’s.

The three tracks in question were allegedly recorded by Jackson when he stayed with a friend named Eddie Cascio in 2007. Once fans and family heard the tracks, however, something seemed strange with the vocals. Jackson’s nephew, Taryll Jackson, was among the first to comment on the Cascio tracks, according to The New Yorker.

“I know my uncle’s voice and something’s seriously wrong when you have immediate family saying it’s not him”

Jackson’s own sister, La Toya Jackson, shared that “it doesn’t sound like him”, per TMZ. Some believed that a Jackson sound-alike named Jason Malachi was responsible for the vocals. Malachi, whose tone and range is impressively close to Jackson’s, has never officially admitted his involvement with the tracks. When comparing Malachi’s vocals to those featured in the Cascio tracks, there are noticeable similarities, however, according to fans.

Michael Jackson’s estate is seeking to sell off quite a large portion of the late King of Pop’s catalog.

In 2014, a class-action lawsuit was filed against Sony Music and Cascio, among other defendants, by a devout Jackson fan named Vera Serova. She claimed that there was evidence that the Cascio tracks were fake and that Sony intentionally released unauthentic Jackson music on the “Michael” album for profit. According to The New Yorker, “Serova hired an audiologist to do a peer-reviewed study of the vocals, and the audiologist concluded that Jackson likely wasn’t the singer.”

As soon as Sony heard of the allegations, the company remained steadfast in its opinion that the tracks were genuine. It even hired a musicologist to review the tracks as well. A trial occurred regarding the authenticity of the Cascio tracks in 2018, according to Esquire. The case was eventually brought to an appeals court, in which the court decided that the track’s authenticity could not be confirmed for certain. Therefore, Sony was not “liable” for profiting from the tracks, according to Entertainment Weekly.

Michael Jackson Super Bowl XXVII performance Via: Depositphotos


One of the Michael Jackson Estate’s attornies, Howard Weitzman, commented on the controversy surrounding the Cascio tracks, “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.”

Why Were The Cascio Tracks Removed From Streaming Platforms In 2022?

Despite Sony maintaining its belief that Jackson’s vocals were indeed authentic on the tracks, the company decided to officially remove the tracks from the album in 2022, according to Entertainment Weekly. The Cascio songs were removed from streaming services such as Spotify and Apple Music, as well as updated CD versions of the album.

Michael Jackson released an album that broke records, won awards, and earned him a fortune.

“The Estate of Michael Jackson and Sony Music decided to remove the tracks ‘Breaking News’, ‘Monster’, and ‘Keep Your Head Up’ as the simplest and best way to move beyond the conversation associated with these tracks once and for all…Nothing should be read into this action concerning the authenticity of the tracks — it is just time to move on beyond the distraction surrounding them”, Sony and the Michael Jackson Estate said in an official statement.

Michael Jackson Thriller album on grass Via: Depositphotos


Sony’s decision to remove the Cascio tracks has caused some fans to wonder if Sony was secretly admitting the Cascio tracks are unauthentic. While this will never be known with certainty, Sony’s 2022 decision does make sense. The company desired to put to rest the allegations and leave the Cascio tracks in the past. For some Michael Jackson fans, this move proved to be a relief.

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