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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.


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gene yuss    

If he's gonna steal a song I'd hope he'd steal a better one than that!

1815 days ago

Smooth Criminals    

If Michael wrote it WITH Paul Anka then he didn't steal it and owned it too. So why is Anka acting like he's the sole owner of the song? Does Anka own the rights or not?

1815 days ago


That's a lawsuit that they will win....

1815 days ago


Paul Anka is an amazing and prolific songwriter
as well as a remarkable entertainer if you have ever seen his shows in person

he has probably written every one of his own hits as well as Sinatra's biggest hit 'MY WAY"
the theme for THE TONIGHT SHOW & many more over the years

he is an honest and decent person-sober for every minute of his career and whatever he is is saying about this will be believed by everyone I would think

If he said they will be going to court you can take that to the bank!

only thing that Sony can do is try to settle out of court -if Anka is willing to do so with them
because right now Sony looks stupid, dishonest and greedy!

1815 days ago


He had it copyrighted under his name and took full credit!!!

This is it / Michael Jackson.
Type of Work: Music
Registration Number / Date: PAu000668598 / 1984-11-16
Title: This is it / Michael Jackson.
Description: 1 sound cassette.
Copyright Claimant: Mijac Music
Date of Creation: 1980
Authorship on Application: words & music: Michael Jackson.

Names: Jackson, Michael
Mijac Music

1815 days ago


There is no reason a music genius would steal from anybody else. What a joke.Another looser trying to make a profit and get his 15 minutes of fame.

1815 days ago


The guy is dead, it sucks, mourn him, but while he was life he recorded someone else's song and now it's be accredited to him and probably going to make his estate a ton of money which partially, and rightfully belongs to Anka. Just because the man is dead doesn't mean his ass don't owe any money, this happens with normal people's deaths all the time, normal people with wrinkles.

1815 days ago


We gather most you don't even know who that is, so we'll enlighten you: He's a really old singer. There, now you are educated.

It's possible that some of you found Michael Jackson's new song familiar sounding, and if that is the case, let Paul clear the air for you. He is claiming that This Is It is a rip-off of a song he wrote for Jackson back in 1983. MJ had turned the song down, so Paul gave it to another artist named Safire.

However, before all that, Paul had recorded demo tapes with Michael singing the song titled I Never Heard. It was after these demos were made that MJ walked away from the song, but he kept the demo tapes for himself. At the time, Paul got his lawyers involved to get them back, but he was never successful. Now, Paul is claiming that the This Is It is using samples from those demo tapes.

We've taken a listen and the similarities are undeniable. As far as we can see, Paul has got himself a case!

1815 days ago


Lets get this into perspective, MJ historically recorded every facet of his life, be it photos, video, music. He would have made this demo to go in his private collection because he co-wrote it.. it was never intended for release..just an archive of a song he co-wrote.

Randy Jackson gave this song to John Mclain to hand over to Sony, apparently he found it in a box, saw This Is It and thought $$$$. John Mclain tried to get MJ back with his bros in 01/02' when he was assisting MJs manager at that time. MJ obviously wouldnt agree to ever do anything with his bros again. Mclain being a friend of Randy got the deal for the bros to sing backup on the Sony released single.. MJ would never have allowed this and they knew it, but that didnt matter cos the $$$ is talking.

This song was obviously took without Randy Jackson or John Mclain having the background knowledge of it..
Therefore i have to a question to Randy Jackson, seeing as you was at the Holmby Hills residence on the day MJ died, was it you who stole MJs hardrive, while Dr. Tohmme fired the staff and took the surveillance camera footage??

Like iv said all day on here see the This is it single thread, the song and its release, the way it is presented is against everything Michael Jackson was. It was never intended for release, just to be archived in MJs personal historical references of himself. Its all about the $$$$ a quick one at that and tarnishing the name of Michael Jackson in the process.

Please do not buy into any of these songs released by Sony, Michael will be dying all over again.

Seems to me karma is a bitch!!

1815 days ago


Is Anka's cover of Smells Like Teen Spirit now considered theft? Because that WAS a crime.

1815 days ago


hateing ass bitches. even if it WAS STOLEN michael did it times better newaii so they really just need to go find some where else to try to get money from.

1815 days ago


No, he's not a thief. Mike is dead and had nothing to do with this. AND If Mike wanted to steal a song it certainly would NOT be this one. This song is a disgrace to Michael's legacy anyway.

1815 days ago

Amrit Singh    

Sa-Fire was given the lyrics to this song by Michael Jackson. If you read her myspace blog she gives praise to Michael Jackson for writing the song for her and for being a remarkable influence in her life.

Personally, I believe her overall execution of the song, when compared to Michael, is superior.

1815 days ago


It's all crap!

1815 days ago

Sue Wong    

Michael wrote this song too so I don't see what the big deal is about. Oh yeah, MONEY. How can you steal your own music? Michael didn't release it anyway.

1815 days ago
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