Sony Music and the estate of Michael Jackson have settled a lawsuit brought by a fan claiming that three Michael Jackson songs released posthumously in 2010 used vocals by an impersonator instead of the late singer, Billboard reports.
The class-action lawsuit was launched by Vera Serova in 2014. It alleged that the songs “Monster” featuring 50 Cent, “Keep Your Head Up,” and “Breaking News,” which appeared on the 2010 album Michael, used vocals by someone pretending to be Jackson, breaking consumer protection laws and constituting unfair competition and fraud.
The settlement was announced on Wednesday with both sides agreeing to formally dissolve the suit without revealing the specific terms of the deal. The case was heard by the California Supreme Court in May, and it is unclear whether a decision will be made as a result of the settlement.
“Regardless of how the Supreme Court may rule," Sony and the Jackson estate told Billboard in a joint statement, "the parties to the lawsuit mutually decided to end the litigation, which would have potentially included additional appeals and a lengthy trial court process."
Last month, Sony pulled the three offending songs from streaming platforms. In a statement to the Jackson fan website Behind The Mask, a representative for the label claimed the decision was not an admission of the songs' reputed inauthenticity: “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.”
The songs were recorded in 2007 by Eddie Cascio and James Porte and sold to Sony in 2009. After their release in 2010, members of Jackson's family, former collaborators, and fans spoke out, alleging that the voice on the recordings was not the pop singer's.
The FADER has reached out to Sony Music and Michael Jackson's estate for more information.