October 26, 2013


Quincy Jones Suing Michael Jackson's Estate

Kevin Mazur/WireImage
Kevin Mazur/WireImage

Legendary producer Quincy Jones is suing Michael Jackson's estate and Sony Music Entertainment.

According to Reuters, Jones filed a suit for breach of contract on Friday and is seeking millions for unpaid royalties and production fees for revenue earned on hits after Jackson's death in 2009.

Jones played a major part in production for venerated MJ albums, Off the Wall, Thriller and Bad.

Royalties, fees and profit-sharing for the posthumous concert film, "This Is It," is a large part of the lawsuit. The film, which features footage from rehearsals for the mega-tour Jackson was preparing for before his death, grossed more than $260 million worldwide. It is one of the highest grossing concert films of all time.

Other complaints include royalties from two Cirque du Soleil productions featuring Jackson's hits, soundtracks for said productions and the 25th anniversary edition of Bad.

The anniversary edition of Bad is perhaps the most interesting aspect of the lawsuit. Jones claims that the master recordings—produced by himself—were purposefully edited and remixed in order to deprive him of royalties.

He also alleges that his contract allowed for any future re-edits or alterations to the songs he produced for Jackson. 

Jones' lawyer, Henry Gradstein, told the Hollywood Reporter:

"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."

Howard Weitzman, the lawyer for Jackson's estate, countered with the following statement:

"The estate of Michael Jackson was saddened to learn that Quincy Jones has filed a lawsuit seeking money from Michael's estate. To the best of our knowledge, Mr. Jones has been appropriately compensated over approximately 35 years for his work with Michael."

Sony has yet to comment.