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Paul Anka Claims 'This Is It' is a Rip-Off

10/12/2009 5:58 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

If you think Michael Jackson's "This Is It" sounds familiar, it's because the song is a rip-off that was released nearly two decades ago by another artist ... and the man making this claim is none other than music legend Paul Anka.

Anka tells TMZ in 1983, he wrote a song with Jackson called "I Never Heard" -- and the demo of the song was recorded in Anka's studio in Carmel, CA. Anka says he took the tape to a studio in Hollywood to put the finishing touches on it for Anka's duets album, "Walk a Fine Line." Anka claims Jackson -- who was just blowing up at the time with "Thriller" -- got a big head and "stole the tapes" from the studio.

Anka tells us he called the lawyers who repped both he and Jackson -- ironically one of them was John Branca -- and threatened them with a lawsuit if he didn't get the tapes back. Anka got them back but insists Jackson made a copy of the tapes and used the track with his voice from "I Never Heard" -- and simply retitled it, "This Is It."

Anka gave "I Never Heard" to another artist -- Safire -- who recorded it in 1990.

We called Sony Music who released "This Is It" ... no comment so far.

Anka tells us he's talking with his lawyers about his legal options.


No Avatar

The Seer    

21. The lawyers repped he? Nice grammar.

Posted at 5:17PM on Oct 12th 2009 by JBallz

THANK YOU! No wonder the whole world thinks Americans are illiterate buffoons. TMZ reinforces this truth on a daily basis with its grammatically incorrect posts. HIRE AN EDITOR TMZ. You are pathetic.

And yes, if a drug-addled creatively bankrupt MJ "recycled" an Anka recording for that sham of a last "tour," then Mr. Anka deserves his ROYALTIES from HIS WORK. There's a little union called ASCAP.

As for SONY, so what if they knew the song was a ripoff? It'll make millions, they'll settle with Anka, and they'll still keep millions.

All you MJ apologists would be pretty pissed-off if someone stole your work (whatever that is.) There are laws for copyright and intellectual property in this country to protect artists from getting ripped-off.

Remember George Harrison's "My Sweet Lord?" Ripoff. Law says anything more than a five note sequence is theft.

1836 days ago


He "stole" a song he cowrote? Whatever, Anka.

1836 days ago

Cali MJ Fan    

Ok, for the younger generation:

Paul Anka is not singing this song. The version they are comparing it to is from a female Latin singer named SaFire.

Paul Anka looks more like a younger version (sorta) of crooner, Frank Sinatra. His official website is here:

Did I just date myself? roflmao

1836 days ago


This is what's listed under BMI for "I never heard"

I NEVER HEARD (Legal Title)
BMI Work #672974
Songwriter/Composer Current Affiliation CAE/IPI #


1836 days ago


LOL HA HA HA Rushing to the bank they stole a song. This is it, the beginning of a fight that will last forever. If they don't do their homework and release MJ recordings without checking any better, SONY/ATV, AEG, TEAMBRANCA, are going to spend years in court and a lot of the Estates $$

The song is terrible, the brothers sound awful, and I won't buy it. I won't go see the movie either. Making $$ off a dead guy, is sick.

1836 days ago


WOW Not only was he a child molester but a music thief. ROT IN HELL MJ!!!!!!!!!!

1836 days ago

just sayen    

I'd go after those can't make a living, concert or song alone on their own MJ lifetime financial back riding bros. Sony & AEG, Paul, for MJ didn't release it nor did he ask his back stabbing bros to also sing in it to cash in on it after his death. MJ boxed that one on the shelf besides he co wrote it, sooooo what gives?

1836 days ago


"This Is It" is a poorly vocalized barrel-scraping, anyway, something that Michael Jackson would not have released back when he was alive, and certainly not with overdubs from his estranged brothers. I hope the song is withdrawn. The "companion" CD to the movie doesn't even feature any form of soundtrack from the movie, so that will be a waste of people's money. There are literally at least 180 unreleased songs available to have made a selection from, and instead Sony & the Jackson family have shown their greed & laziness in this situation. I hope the move is less embarrassing than this track.

1836 days ago


One and the same. Michael never released this song. We do mot know the real truth but Paul Anka doesn't seem like a liar to me. No matter what Michael never released the song so he most likely knew that this song wasn't his. SONY is releasing the song so blame SONY not Michael.

1836 days ago


I learned all I needed to know about the history of this song by reading this board for 5 minutes. So if the commenters on here are that informed, then surely Sony/AEG knew all about Paul Anka's involvement and any potential legal problems as co-writer of this song. You'd think they would have checked all that out BEFORE releasing the song.

1836 days ago


I don't believe!

Why would he copy it anyway?For gods sake he's MICHAEL JACKSON!

And I believe There's something behind this.But sadly MJ is not here anymore to speak up for himself.

MJ is not like that lol btw i love MJ version bettter

1836 days ago

MJ stole the song    

safire on youtube Released 1991 "I Wasn't Born yesterday" Album. titled "I Never Heard". Lyrics written in the year 1984.
Paul Anka has been a writer/singer since 1957.
"Diana" (1957)
"Crazy Love" (1958)
"You Are My Destiny" (1958)
"Lonely Boy" (1959)
"(All of A Sudden) My Heart Sings" (1959)
"Put Your Head on My Shoulder" (1959)
"Puppy Love" (1960)
"Tonight My Love, Tonight" (1961)
"Eso Beso (That Kiss)" (1962)
"Do I Love You" (1972)
"(You're) Having My Baby" (1974) -
"I Don't Like to Sleep Alone" (1974) -
"Times of Your Life" (1975)
"Feelings" (1975)
The Painter (1977)
The Music Man (1977)
"Walk a Fine Line" (1983)
"Hold Me 'Til the Morning Comes" (1983)
"It's Hard to Say Goodbye" (1986) -
"Somebody Loves You" (1989)
"It's Hard to Say Goodbye' (1998) - Duet with Celine Dion
Rock Swings # 9 UK (2005)

1836 days ago

just sayen    


umm you won't find MJ any place near that sorta heat or place. He's in a far better place far above it moonwalking with angels of a much Higher Power, guiding us all through love. A place it sounds like you will never ever see, but good luck with those flames when you get there.

1836 days ago


If you people were smart instead of trying to cut someone down you would have realised that MICHAEL JACKSON wrote that song for Safire. TMZ I am sure you already know this and yet you want to manipulate and pollute the mind of idiots who cant think or do for themselves.

1836 days ago


I don't care if Michael ripped it off or not; What I do know is, that Michael did that song justice! That other person sounded like CRAP! Just goes to show, that Michael could turn anything into GOLD! Damn he sounded good! I'm going to buy that! Just like that other song "If you don't love me"; they say he ripped that off from the Beatles. Well, if he did, he sure made it sound realllllly good! I love that song!

I love to listen to this one just to pretend like he's still around.

1836 days ago
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