'New' Michael Jackson single a 'mistake'

view gallery VIEW GALLERY

Michael Jackson didn't do it his way after all. Hours after the pop singer's first posthumous single "This Is It" was released amid great hype yesterday, it emerged that the tune had been recorded 18 years ago by an obscure Puerto Rican singer.

Moreover the co-author of that tune, "My Way" songwriter Paul Anka, threatened to sue Jackson's estate for proper credit and his share of royalties.



The administrators of the estate quickly acknowledged Anka's claims and granted him 50 percent of the copyright, a potentially massive payday for the 68-year-old Canadian crooner. And an equally massive loss for the estate.



"They realize it's a mistake, they realize it's my song, they realize it's my production of his vocal in my studio and I am getting 50 percent of the whole project, actually, which is fair," Anka said in a video posted on the TMZ gossip Web site.



The song dates back to 1983, when it was known as "I Never Heard" -- a co-write between Jackson and Anka -- and intended for inclusion on an Anka album. But the pair fell out, Jackson took the master tapes and Anka got them back.



The song was eventually released in 1991 after Anka placed it with an unknown Latin singer named Sa-Fire.



Both "I Never Heard" and "This Is It" share the same vocal and piano line, although the latter track boasts new overdubs from Jackson's brothers.



But "This Is It" had been promoted as a new Jackson recording, one of a multitude of unreleased recordings likely to come out in the next few years.



It was released online around the world nearly four months after the singer died in Los Angeles of a prescription drug overdose at the age of 50.

Listen to "This Is It"

Fans will be able to buy it when a two-disc album hits the shelves in two weeks to coincide with the October 28 worldwide release of the Jackson rehearsal-footage movie "This is It."

"The song was picked because the lyrics were appropriate because of the name Michael gave his tour," said a spokesman for Jackson's estate. "We are thrilled to present this song in Michael's voice for the first time, and that Michael's fans have responded in unprecedented numbers. The song was co-written by the legendary Paul Anka."



A spokeswoman for Sony Music declined to comment. One of the estate's two administrators, John McClain, worked with Jackson at the Sony unit. The other executor is music attorney John Branca.



McClain, who is also a co-producer of the "This is It" album, had said in a statement earlier on Monday that the song "only defines, once again, what the world already knows -- that Michael is one of God's greatest gifts."



Some critics begged to differ. Jon Pareles, the chief pop critic of The New York Times, said in a blog it "won't be on anyone's list of best Michael Jackson songs, even if it's a long list" and hoped there was something better in the Michael Jackson vaults of album outtakes.



The "This Is It" movie is based on rehearsal video shot in Los Angeles in the weeks before Jackson's planned 50 comeback concerts in London. It was the subject of a $60 million (£38 million) deal between Jackson's estate and closely held concert promoter AEG Live and Sony's Sony Pictures unit.



Sales of Jackson's records spiked after his death and the release of the movie and album will add to the value of the "Thriller" singer's estate, estimated at around $400 million (£253 million).



Sony Music said the first disc of the album will feature some of Jackson's greatest hits plus two versions of the "new" single.



The second disc will include unreleased versions of some of the singer's classic tracks and a spoken word poem entitled "Planet Earth" performed by Jackson and never heard before.

Arts and Entertainment
Matthew Healy of The 1975 performing on the Pyramid Stage at the Glastonbury Festival, at Worthy Farm in Somerset

music
Arts and Entertainment
booksThe Withnail and I creator, has a new theory about killer's identity
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Arts and Entertainment
tvDick Clement and Ian La Frenais are back for the first time in a decade
Arts and Entertainment
The Clangers: 1969-1974
tv
Arts and Entertainment
Rocky road: Dwayne Johnson and Carla Gugino play an estranged husband and wife in 'San Andreas'
film review
Arts and Entertainment
Nicole Kidman plays Grace Kelly in the film, which was criticised by Monaco’s royal family

film
Arts and Entertainment
Emilia Clarke could have been Anastasia Steele in Fifty Shades of Grey but passed it up because of the nude scenes

film
Arts and Entertainment
A$AP Rocky and Rita Ora pictured together in 2012

music
Arts and Entertainment
A case for Mulder and Scully? David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson in ‘The X-Files’

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Impressions of the Creative Community Courtyard within d3. The development is designed to 'inspire emerging designers and artists, and attract visitors'

architecture
Arts and Entertainment
Performers drink tea at the Glastonbury festival in 2010

GlastonburyWI to make debut appearance at Somerset festival

Arts and Entertainment
Lena Headey as Cersei Lannister

TV reviewIt has taken seven episodes for Game of Thrones season five to hit its stride

Arts and Entertainment
Jesuthasan Antonythasan as Dheepan

FilmPalme d'Or goes to radical and astonishing film that turns conventional thinking about immigrants on its head

Arts and Entertainment
Måns Zelmerlöw performing

Eurovision
Arts and Entertainment
Graham Norton was back in the commentating seat for Eurovision 2015

Eurovision
Arts and Entertainment
Richard Hammond, Jeremy Clarkson and James May on stage

TV
Arts and Entertainment
The light stuff: Britt Robertson and George Clooney in ‘Tomorrowland: a World Beyond’
film review
Arts and Entertainment
Reawakening: can Jon Hamm’s Don Draper find enlightenment in the final ‘Mad Men’?
tv reviewNot quite, but it's an enlightening finale for Don Draper spoiler alert
Arts and Entertainment
Breakfast Show’s Nick Grimshaw

Radio
Arts and Entertainment

Eurovision
Arts and Entertainment
'Youth' cast members Paul Dano, Jane Fonda, Harvey Keitel, Rachel Weisz, and Michael Caine pose for photographers at Cannes Film Festival
film
Arts and Entertainment
Adam West as Batman and Burt Ward and Robin in the 1960s Batman TV show

Comics
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Sepp Blatter resignation: The beginning of Fifa's long road to reform?

    Does Blatter's departure mean Fifa will automatically clean up its act?

    Don't bet on it, says Tom Peck
    Charles Kennedy: The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

    The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

    Charles Kennedy was consistently a man of the centre-left, dedicated to social justice, but was also a champion of liberty and an opponent of the nanny-state, says Baroness Williams
    Syria civil war: The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of this endless conflict

    The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of Syria's endless civil war

    Sahar Qanbar lost her mother and brother as civilians and government soldiers fought side by side after being surrounded by brutal Islamist fighters. Robert Fisk visited her
    The future of songwriting: How streaming is changing everything we know about making music

    The future of songwriting

    How streaming is changing everything we know about making music
    William Shemin and Henry Johnson: Jewish and black soldiers receive World War I Medal of Honor amid claims of discrimination

    Recognition at long last

    Jewish and black soldiers who fought in WWI finally receive medals after claims of discrimination
    Beating obesity: The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters

    Beating obesity

    The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters
    9 best women's festival waterproofs

    Ready for rain: 9 best women's festival waterproofs

    These are the macs to keep your denim dry and your hair frizz-free(ish)
    Cycling World Hour Record: Nervous Sir Bradley Wiggins ready for pain as he prepares to go distance

    Wiggins worried

    Nervous Sir Bradley ready for pain as he prepares to attempt cycling's World Hour Record
    Liverpool close in on Milner signing

    Liverpool close in on Milner signing

    Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
    On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

    On your feet!

    Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
    With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

    The big NHS question

    Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
    Big knickers are back: Thongs ain't what they used to be

    Thongs ain't what they used to be

    Big knickers are back
    Thurston Moore interview

    Thurston Moore interview

    On living in London, Sonic Youth and musical memoirs
    In full bloom

    In full bloom

    Floral print womenswear
    From leading man to Elephant Man, Bradley Cooper is terrific

    From leading man to Elephant Man

    Bradley Cooper is terrific