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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.

297 COMMENTS

No Avatar
61.

anniam    

Does this mean that every song that Michael has nor released the brothers will be singing in them?if this happens i will not be buying them.Branca/mclain yous are letting Michael down.Please get it right the next time,Michael deserves better.I just want to hear Michael singing his songs not jermain or randy.Jermain stop making a fool of yourself you are not MICHAEL.

1804 days ago
62.

Jeff    

Pedophile & Thief. His accomplishments were great, so were his crimes. People only see what they want to see. Yeah to the ignorant and blind.

1804 days ago
63.

keirra    

WHO IS SHE WHO CARES SHE SHE SUCK MICHAEL IS WAYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY BETTER OH PLEASE SHE NEED TO CRAWL BACK FROM WHERE SHE CAME FROM.

1804 days ago
64.

Dohdoh    

what a total balls-up by Sony - 'we just found this old tape in a box marked 'this is it'

Yeah, let's slap a third rate orchestral arrangement on it and get it mixed by jo shmoe down at tinpan alley'

Stupidity beyond belief

But the real prix du concourse goes to Branca who should have known better...

Utterly unreal

1804 days ago
65.

FULGY    

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

Posted at 5:28PM on Oct 12th 2009 by canadian013



You forgot Deadbeat billpayer

1804 days ago
66.

I, Slay The Dragon    

Sony, Interscope, Universal-MCA, the ENTIRE R.I.A.A.?
The BIGGEST corporate thieves of artistic/intellectual
property in the history of American "Business". UNQUESTIONABLY.

1804 days ago
67.

Missy    

39. WAIT A MINUTE!!!!

If Michael CO-WROTE it-- he can't be called a thief. His version is a DEMO.

But more importantly, MICHAEL DIDN'T RELEASE IT!!!

Sony did! It would seem Anka has legal recourse against SONY-- not Michael!

But explain this part-- if Michael helped write it, then he held some entitlement to the song, right? Or if SaFire was given the song, does she now hold the rights?

Posted at 5:21PM on Oct 12th 2009 by Cali MJ Fan


agreed! sony is at fault

1804 days ago
68.

Robbie    

Give me a break Paul Anka nobody cares about what you have to say. Get a life and stop hating. This is MJ's song simple as that..sound like you mad that he took this material (if he did) and now it is a hit. You are a day late and a dollar short!

1804 days ago
69.

tina    

I believe it is possible that This Is It was a demo Michael did and
did not want released. There is however classic MJ and a blog about
Michael, the unreleased Dangerous track 'Work That Body' from the
writer/producer of this track and artist, Bryan Loren. He's
incredible. He also wrote and produced a lot of the other unreleased
Michael tracks that are floating around. As well, he wrote and
produced 'Do The Bartman' for The Simpsons. Michael sings backup with
him on that. I love that track. There is also an unreleased track he
wrote and produced by Janet from Rhythm Nation called 'Work'. Loren's
work is excellent. He's cute too. Check it out:
http://www.myspace.com/bloren2

1804 days ago
70.

Hypocrites    

WOW MJ IS NOW A RIP OFF HE NOW STEALS FROM OTHER PEOPLE!! I TOLD YOU HE WAS WASHED UP A HAS BEEN. NOW LET'S ADD A THIEF. BOY IT'S GETTING BETTER ALL THE TIME. JUST WAIT IF THE DR GOES ON TRIAL LET'S SEE SOME MORE OF MJ'S WRONG DOING COME OUT. HA HA HA

1804 days ago
71.

Dohdoh    

well this also explains why Sony didn't release it as a paid for download or as a physical single

1804 days ago
72.

FULGY    

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

Posted at 5:28PM on Oct 12th 2009 by canadian013


You forgot Deadbeat billpayer

Oh yeah, Drug addict too

1804 days ago
73.

Karen in Texas    

I will bet my bottom dollar that Michael wrote most if not all the song (sounds more like Michaels wording) and Anka is the one who is lying. People always tried to discredit Michael for everything he did. Let's have some real news, LIKE WHEN ARE THEY GOING TO ARREST DR. MURRAY?

1804 days ago
74.

Stop Milking his name    

I know who Michael Jackson is. But who the hell is Paul Anka?

And how can MJ steal a song he co-wrote?

1804 days ago
75.

Glendetta    

Michael Jackson steal tapes? My arse!

1804 days ago
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