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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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106.

paulette    

Mj is not even here anymore...Sony claims they found it, the brothers sing back up then they throw it together to get it released for the movie and now Michael is a SONG THIEF?? Come on TMZ! IF he co wrote it how did he steal it?? Shouldnt this be SONYS problem for releasing it???

Well here is another story for the media to run wild and of coarse SONY wont be mentioned it will be all Michaels fault!

1814 days ago
107.

rkinne    

Um didn't the article say Jackson wrote the the song with Anka? If the gloved one wrote the song he has every right to perform it himself and even retitle it. Sounds like sour grapes on Anka's part to me....

1814 days ago
108.

Hugh Jass    

Good Grief!
He robbed children of their innocence, he was a pompous pederast who preyed on even "make a wish" type kids (!!!), a song-thief* as well as a butt pirate, and finally after 2 months in the freezer he ended up The King of Popsicles!


* we can even SEE the 2 are the same using the "oscilloscope"-like "Bars & Waves Visualization" feature on Windows Media Viewer

1814 days ago
109.

Better Than You    

didn't Paul Anka have a hit song about having sex with a canine?


And they call it puppy love.

1814 days ago
110.

isabelnecessary    

michael jackson co-wrote it. and sang it in a way that wouls be relevant even now.

1814 days ago
112.

Sloane    

Sony is going to have to pay Anka and the Jackson estate big bucks when it is proven that Anka/Jackson co-wrote the song

If Anka can prove it was him alone then he gets the money

This is the exact reason that songwriters copy-write their work.. ROYALTIES........ so they don't get ripped off when other people use their material

Sony needs to fire their fact-checker on this
they should have uncovered the facts but in their rush to grab the cash-strike while the iron is hot- they made a BIG and costly error

1814 days ago
113.

emily    

YOU GO MIKE!!
that's kind of funny..like MICHAEL JACKSON needs to steal songs from anyone. how stupid.

1814 days ago
114.

OH PLease    

There is no doubt that MJ & Paul Anka CO-WROTE the song. It's listed under MJ & Paul Anka's songwriting list in BMI.

1814 days ago
115.

WillOTheWisp    



CAN'T WE ALL JUST GET ALONG?

Listen! Paul Anka is really good and Michael is great, so why is there a ruffle? Music/Love is what makes the world go around. We're fighting in every area of LIFE; And now, MUSIC? Damn!

1814 days ago
116.

Teresa    

This is directly to Paul Anka get a life you have nothing better to do in your old age. Michael wouldn't steal anything and definitely didn't need to steal no tapes of yours with all the songs he has out. Great ones too that nobody can do better than.

1814 days ago
117.

Sue Wong    

To the puppy love poster. Well, you must be very young. Puppy love referred to young love or an infatuation.

1814 days ago
118.

MJ number#1 fan    

Sony own the demo not Mj...There is a reason Michael didn't put song out...
It's not perfect and any real MJ fan Knows this.....
MJ left music behind for us but believe me this wasn't one of those....

1814 days ago
119.

Amanda    

The song sucks anyway, but it goes to show you what people are willing to do to make a buck. I hope he sues the hell out of Sony and MJ's estate. Sounds like he has a great case. And to all you MJ fans grow up and get a life. He was not the perfect person you portray him to be.

1814 days ago
120.

Water    

I am a thief heehee

1814 days ago
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