The estate of Michael Jackson has removed three of the artist's songs from streaming platforms, American Songwriter reports. The songs, “Monster” featuring 50 Cent, “Keep Your Head Up,” and “Breaking News,” all appeared on the 2010 project Michael—some fans and members of Jackson's family believe that Jackson did not sing on the tracks, though a representative denied this in a statement to the fan website Behind The Mask.
"I should point out that the removal of these three songs has nothing to do with their authenticity," the statement reads. “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 three songs were sold to Sony in 2009 by Eddie Cascio and James Porte – Cascio claimed that the songs were recorded in Cascio's basement studio in 2007. The authenticity of the songs was debated for years after the release of Michael with speculation only intensifying after Michael's brother Randy Jackson and his mother Katherine both claiming not to recognize the voice on the songs as Michael's.
In 2014, a Jackson fan named Vera Serova launched a lawsuit against Sony, Jackson's Estate, and Cascio and Porte for violation of consumer laws, unfair competition, and fraud. Sony and Jackson's estate were cleared in a 2018 verdict and a 2020 appeal. Serova's suit names a singer named Jason Malachi as the performer on the songs – in 2011, a Facebook page allegedly belonging to Malachi published a post admitting to singing on the songs but was later removed with Malachi claiming he was hacked.
The FADER has reached out to Jackson's estate for more information.