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Paul Anka gets 50 percent profits from new Michael Jackson single 'This Is It'

13

October

Not long after we told you about Monday's new Michael Jackson single This Is It, there was a copyright claim, which makes perfect sense, because nothing has gone smoothly in this tangled web of greed and deceit. But the good news is the whole thing has been taken care of, and all long after the Eastern time zone quit paying attention to the West Coast. If only it were all so easy.

Songwriter Paul Anka noted that he co-wrote the song with Jackson way back in 1983 for a duets album Anka was recording. He noted as much to Jackson's estate, which was quick to award him 50 percent of the single's profits, perhaps because an extended court battle would have held up the upcoming concert movie of the same name.

"They did the right thing," Anka said. "I don't think that anybody tried to do the wrong thing. It was an honest mistake. ... There's nothing but honorable people here."

Well, we'd take issue with that, but Sony put its money where its hits are. The origin of the song was a mystery, since it was found in a box of tapes with only a Spartan piano and vocal arrangement. Jackson's brothers added backing vocals and an orchestral accompaniment was layered on posthumously.

Maybe they should have listened to more freestyle in 1990, when Safire, nee Wilma Cosme, recorded it with Jackson and Anka writing credits as I Never Heard on an album called I Wasn't Born Yesterday, which actually enjoyed heavy rotation in The Juice* boombox back in the day (listen to it below for comparison). True story.

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[Last modified: Tuesday, May 25, 2010 11:00am]

    

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