On Wednesday, July 26, music impresario Quincy Jones was reportedly awarded $9.4 million after suing the late King of Pop’s estate over unpaid music royalties and production fees, stemming from some of Jackson’s biggest hits, including “Billie Jean” and “Thriller.”
According to the Associated Press, Jones, 84, filed nearly four years ago, seeking $30 million while Jackson’s estate placed the figure at about $392,000. Among his claims, Jones alleged he was also underpaid for tunes used in Jackson’s This Is It documentary (2009), as well as two Cirque du Soleil shows, Variety reports.
“As an artist, maintaining the vision and integrity of one’s creation is of paramount importance. I, along with the team I assembled with Michael, took great care and purpose in creating these albums, and it has always given me a great sense of pride and comfort that three decades after they were originally recorded, these songs are still being played in every corner of the world,” Jones said in a statement.
“This lawsuit was never about Michael, it was about protecting the integrity of the work we all did in the recording studio and the legacy of what we created. Although this judgment is not the full amount that I was seeking, I am very grateful that the jury decided in our favor in this matter. I view it not only as a victory for myself personally but for artists’ rights overall,” he concluded.
The music legend took the stand during the trial, insisting that he was simply trying to collect money he was due for his work, despite claims by the estate’s attorney, Howard Weitzman, who alleged Jones had already benefited from Jackson’s death, the AP reported.
“You don’t deserve a raise,” said Weitzman. “You can’t have any more of Michael Jackson’s money.”
As fans may already know, Jones worked with Jackson on three albums that are considered to be the singer’s greatest work: Off the Wall, Thriller and Bad.
On June 25, 2009, Jackson died suddenly at age 50. During the 2011 trial that convicted his physician, Conrad Murray, of involuntary manslaughter, it was revealed that the superstar died as the result of a fatal cocktail of medications in his system — an excessive amount of the surgical anesthetic propofol — that was administered to him by Murray. Reportedly, the concoction was frequently used to help Jackson sleep.