Published Oct 13, 2009At midnight on Sunday (October 11), the Michael Jackson estate began streaming the hotly anticipated new single, "This Is It," on the late singer's website. Just a few hours later, however, the owners of the estate received an unfortunate piece of news: the song, which they had believed the be a Jackson original, was actually co-written with legendary crooner Paul Anka in 1983.
Shortly after the song hit the Web, Anka told TMZ that the track was originally titled "I Never Heard," and it had been intended as a duet for his album Walk a Fine Line. Jackson, however, had a change of heart and "stole" the master tapes from the studio. Anka eventually reclaimed the tapes and in 1990 licensed the song to singer Sa-Fire, who released a cover of the song.
When "This Is It" was released without any credit given to Anka, the Canadian singer initially threatened to sue the Jackson estate. The estate administrator, John McClain, soon contacted the singer, acknowledging the mistake and admitting that Anka had co-written the song. Consequently, Anka was granted 50 percent of all future royalties earned from the song.
Anka wasted no time in retracting his earlier threats, recording a statement absolving the Jackson estate of any wrongdoing and even agreeing to help the promotion of the single. In the video message, he can hardly contain his glee - and given the massive royalties he will soon be earning, it's no small wonder.