Michael Jackson’s estate and Sony Music have reached a settlement with an accuser alleging three songs on the King of Pop’s posthumous album in 2010 didn’t use Jackson’s vocals.
Vera Serova, a fan of Jackson, sued Sony Music in a class action lawsuit in 2014 claiming Jackson’s voice was falsely attributed on the album. The case was appealed in several courts before making its way to California’s Supreme Court in 2020. Arguments took place in May.
“Regardless of how the Supreme Court may rule, the parties to the lawsuit mutually decided to end the litigation,” Sony Music and Michael Jackson’s estate said in a joint statement obtained by USA TODAY Thursday.
Sony and the estate added that if the case were to go on without a settlement, it would have “potentially included additional appeals and a lengthy trial court process.”
USA TODAY reached out to Serova’s lawyers for comment.
Last month, Sony Music and the late superstar’s estate removed the three tracks in question — “Breaking News,” “Monster” and “Keep Your Head Up” — which are no longer accessible on Spotify or Apple Music. The defendants considered this to be the “simplest and best way to move beyond the conversation.”
‘Move beyond’ fake vocals:Michael Jackson songs removed from streaming services due to controversy
Sony Music obtained rights to Jackson’s music catalog in a landmark $750 million deal in 2016. The deal came in huge relief to his estate, which had been consolidating the singer’s debts through new ventures.
“Michael” was Jackson’s first posthumous album and consisted of unreleased tracks. Rumors spread about the album’s authenticity when it was first released in 2010.
“We have complete confidence in the results of our extensive research as well as the accounts of those who were in the studio with Michael that the vocals on the new album are his own,” Sony said in a November 2010 statement at the time, according to Variety.
Contributing: Angie Orellana Hernandez