Michael Jackson's Estate Forced to Fork Over More Than $9 Million in Royalties to Quincy Jones
Published Jul 27, 2017A Los Angeles Superior Court jury has ruled that Michael Jackson's estate owes Quincy Jones $9.4 million USD in royalties and production fees for working on some of the King of Pop's biggest hits.
The lawsuit, filed four years ago, initially sought $30 million USD while Jackson's estate contested in saying Jones was owed $392,000, the Associated Press reports. The producer had claimed that the estate and Sony Music Entertainment owed him for music used in the Jackson concert film This Is It and two shows of Cirque de Soleil's Jackson tribute One.
"This lawsuit was never about Michael, it was about protecting the integrity of the work we all did in the recording studio and the legacy of what we created," Jones said in a statement following the ruling on Wednesday (July 27). "Although this [judgment] is not the full amount that I was seeking, I am very grateful that the jury decided in our favour in this matter. I view it not only as a victory for myself personally, but for artists' rights overall."
The suit read that the songs used had been re-edited to deprive Jones of royalties and production fees, while Jackson's camp maintained he should be paid licensing fees only.
"Any amount above and beyond what is called for in his contracts is too much and unfair to Michael's heirs," estate lawyer Howard Weitzman and co-counsel Zia Modabber said. "Although Mr. Jones is portraying this is a victory for artists' rights, the real artist is Michael Jackson and it is his money Mr. Jones is seeking."
Lawyers for Jackson's estate revealed that Jones had made $8 million USD from his share of the work in two years following the musician's death, in addition to $3 million USD in the previous two years.
Jones served as producer alongside Jackson for the pop icon's Off the Wall, Thriller and Bad albums.