If you’re a fan of Michael Jackson’s 2010 eponymous, posthumous album, Michael, then you may notice that a couple of songs are no longer available to stream on Apple Music, Spotify or YouTube Music.
That’s because on Wednesday, Sony Music pulled three songs, namely “Monster,” featuring 50 Cent, “Breaking News,” and “Keep Your Head Up.” While the giant media company didn’t give a specific reason as to why they did that, per Complex, the decision comes amid ongoing rumors that Jackson may not be singing on them after all.
Questions surrounding the lead vocals on those songs first began to erupt nearly eight years ago, when diehard fans filed a suit against Sony Music and the Jackson estate for using fake vocals on the tracks. A judge eventually ruled in 2018 that neither party could prove exactly who the voices actually belonged to, subsequently making Sony nor the estate not liable.
Despite that fact, the official website, media company and the estate all maintain that the decision to remove the aforementioned has nothing to do with the vocal controversy.
“I should point out that the removal of these three songs has nothing to do with their authenticity,” a spokesperson for the site explained. “The Estate and Sony Music believe the continuing conversation about the tracks is distracting the fan community and casual Michael Jackson listeners from focusing their attention where it should be–on Michael’s legendary and deep music catalog.”
Added Sony Music and Jackson’s estate in a statement, “Nothing should be read into this action concerning the authenticity of the tracks—it is just time to move beyond the distraction surrounding them.”
OK, so let me get this straight: you remove some songs that have been caught up in controversy, say that the decision to remove them had nothing to do with the controversy, and explain that the controversy is only a distraction, but YOU DON’T EVER EXPLAIN WHY YOU’RE ACTUALLY REMOVING THE SONGS?
I don’t know, fam. How does that one saying go? “If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck...” Well, you know the rest.