Wednesday, October 14, 2009
Paul Anka to Get Half the Royalties for the New Michael Jackson Song
By BEN SISARIO
Posted by Ahmed Al-Salem
Michael Jackson’s new song “This Is It” could prove a significant payday for Paul Anka. Although the song had been advertised as an unheard recording left behind by Mr. Jackson — and written by him alone — it became clear after it was released on Sunday night that “This Is It” was not new at all: it had been written by Mr. Jackson and Mr. Anka 26 years ago, and recorded by the singer Safire in 1991 as “I Never Heard.” Late Monday afternoon, the Jackson estate acknowledged Mr. Anka’s role and said he would be given credit. On Tuesday, the estate also confirmed that Mr. Anka would receive half of all due royalties for the song, which could be substantial. The song will play over the end credits of the film “This Is It” and feature prominently on its soundtrack. In addition, Mr. Anka would be owed fees for any licensed use of the song to commercials or other films. The Jackson estate is said to be in talks with Coca-Cola about possible use of “This Is It” in a large ad campaign, according to people with knowledge of the discussion who were not authorized to speak about it.