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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

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76.

Aiden    

Why does it matter!? Just leave the guy alone. If he co-wrote it, he has rights to it too. MJ's is better anyways. That's probably why this anka dude wants to sue, cause his isn't good enough to surpass Michael. Just leave him alone!

1846 days ago
77.

Theresa    

MJ doesn't need to rip off other people's music to make a hit. I think they are creating these things and trying to do a cover up to make some money. Can't trust anyone!!!

1846 days ago
78.

monskii    

Michael Jackson did NOT release this song as his!!!!!!

SONY DID!!!!!!

They are the money hungry, liars, and thieves that they have always been! Michael had too much integrity to ever do a thing like this! It only shows how $ony is out to make money!

Not preserve Michael's Legacy!

1846 days ago
79.

Robbie    

You Paul Anka give it a rest if it is even true MJ cowrote the song with you then he DOES have a right...and MJ did not release the song SONY did. MJ's fans will come to his defense since he is no longer able to fight for himself. You ought to be glad someone is even mentioning your name. Most are saying Paul Who!

1846 days ago
80.

Skank    

If MJ recorded this years ago, perhaps "HE" wrote it for her! Maybe it was HIS song and she stole it years ago!!! hum...he's not here to defend himself!

1846 days ago
81.

Andreemyrian    

Maybe Paul Anka said nothing, maybe it's again a rumor invented by the medias. MJ was a genius and had no need to steal songs of the others.

1846 days ago
82.

cherryrn    

I don't care. It's Michael's Song now. He dead and everybody who ever got near him wants money. We can never know what happened .

1846 days ago
83.

elham    

i won't personally pay a penny for the album or the song untill i know sony is not involved anymore....michael left sony for a reason in 2002 and now you really wanna tell me it's right to hand over all the song michael made during 2002_2009, to sony???????SERIOUSLY????? branca WHAT R U DOING? i like branca and appreciate whatever he has done for the estate but if he really wants the best for the estate he better make the deals with another label and not sony, at least with the new songs.

1846 days ago
84.

Vale    

Shouldn't that title read, "Sony --- Song Thief?"

1846 days ago
85.

WillOTheWisp    




Michael was totally awesome! I read where they were saying he was behind times, and this, that, and the other. Excuse me! Michael did not have to do what everybody else did, that's what made him unique! He had his own style, even when he sung someone else's song. The Dude was creative! He didn't have to be a clone to make it big. He was just Michael!

Jesus, tell Michael his fans miss him! Oh yeah, please tell him that I’m sorry that I kind of abandoned him during the accusation’s trial, but have since made up for it.

15 more days until “This Is It” the movie comes out!

1846 days ago
86.

Hypocrites    

MJ IS A FU*KIN THIEF, DRUG ADDICT, LIKES TO SLEEP WITH LITTLE BOYS, FREAK, DEADBEAT BILL PAYER AND THE LIST KEEPS GETTING BETTER EVERYDAY. IT WILL ALL COME OUT SOONER OR LATER.

1846 days ago
87.

Norah    

HELLOOOOOO people!!!!! What is the name of the song what was the name of his tour? Of course he was going to use the song!!!!!!

1846 days ago
88.

Leslie    

does it even matter people are just trying to make money off of him where was they at when he was being accused of doing them things to them poor kids where was his great friends at then and no i dont think noone should be charged in his death he knew what he was doing and what could happen if these doctors didnt do it he would have found one that would give him what he wanted leave the docs alone let him rest in peace

1846 days ago
89.

oleman    

no matter what, the song sucks

1846 days ago
90.

Lisa    

I like MJs version. I read that MJ wrote it and let Paul put the music to it and if he wants to sue he should sue sony and not the estate. What does he hope to achieve by complaining.

1846 days ago
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