Quincy Jones has sued Michael Jackson’s estate, claiming he is owed millions in royalties and production fees on some of the superstar’s greatest hits.
Jones’ lawsuit Friday seeks at least $10 million from the singer’s estate and Sony Music Entertainment, claiming the entities improperly re-edited songs to deprive him of royalties and production fees. The music has been used in the film This Is It and a pair of Cirque du Soleil shows based on the King of Pop’s songs, the lawsuit states.
Jones also claims that he should have received a producer’s credit on the music in This Is It. His lawsuit seeks an accounting of the estate’s profits from the works so that Jones can determine how much he is owed.
The producer worked with Jackson on three of his most popular solo albums, Off the Wall, Thriller, and Bad.
Jackson’s estate wrote in a statement that it was saddened by Jones’ lawsuit. “To the best of its knowledge, Mr. Jones has been appropriately compensated over approximately 35 years for his work with Michael,” the statement said.
An after-hours message left at Sony Music’s New York offices was not immediately returned.
Jackson’s hits “Billie Jean,” “Thriller,” and “Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough” are among the songs Jones claims were re-edited to deprive him of royalties and his producer’s fee.
Jones’ lawsuit states the producer’s contracts called for him to have the first opportunity to re-edit or alter the songs, in part to protect his reputation.