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Producer Quincy Jones, who produced Michael Jackson’s best known albums, filed a $10 million lawsuit against the late King of Pop’s estate on Friday. He claims that he has not been paid royalties from Jackson’s posthumous releases.
Sony Music Entertainment and MJJ Productions, the company controlled by Jackson’s estate, are named as plaintiffs in the breach-of-contract suit, notes The Hollywood Reporter. Jones is specifically targeting unpaid royalties from the This Is It documentary soundtrack, the anniversary edition of Bad and the Cirque du Soleil shows that use Jackson’s songs. The complaint was filed in Los Angeles Superior Court.
Jones claims that Sony and MJJ have conspired to remix songs so he would be cut out of royalties, then they kept the royalties he should have made for themselves.
“Quincy has been frustrated with these matters for a number of years, felt he was not making any progress and needed to take more formal action," Jones’ attorney, Henry Gradstein, told THR.
“The Estate of Michael Jackson was saddened to learn that Quincy Jones has filed a lawsuit seeking money from Michael's Estate,” Harvey Weitzman, the Jackson estate’s attorney, said in a statement to TMZ. “To the best of our knowledge, Mr. Jones has been appropriately compensated over approximately 35 years for his work with Michael.”
Jones produced Jackson’s three top-selling albums: Off The Wall, Thriller and Bad. According to THR, Jones had signed agreements while making those albums between 1978 and 1985, in which he would receive the first opportunity to do make any remixes of the songs. He also had to be given full producer credit for the original recordings, plus he would receive backend compensation for any further re-issues. When it comes to the Cirque shows, Jones’ suit said that MJJ breached these contracts when they let the circus troupe remix the songs without his approval.
Jones wants a minimum of $10 million.