Michael Jackson’s estate have successfully blocked the sale of ‘extremely rare’ unreleased recordings by the late singer.
Last month, Gotta Have Rock and Roll announced plans to auction off over two dozen master tapes supposedly recorded by the late Thriller singer — who died in June 2009 at 50 — at the New York studio The Hit Factory in 1994.
They expected to fetch up to $4,000 for each tape, but lawyers acting on behalf of the estate threatened to sue, arguing the recordings were ‘unquestionably stolen.’
A letter written by attorney Jonathan Steinsapir on 29 November, which was obtained by Billboard, demanded the company ‘cease and desist from any and all efforts to further auction these tape,’ but also immediately return the recordings.
The letter continued: ‘Neither Michael Jackson nor his record company, Sony Music Entertainment, ever sold or gave away master tapes from his recording sessions at The Hit Factory (or anywhere else).
Michael Jackson ‘s estate have successfully blocked the sale of ‘extremely rare’ unreleased recordings by the late singer (Jackson pictured 2009)
Last month, Gotta Have Rock and Roll announced plans to auction off over two dozen master tapes supposedly recorded by the late Thriller singer — who died in June 2009 at 50 — at the New York Studio the Hit Factory in 1994 (Jackson pictured that year)
‘These tapes were unquestionably stolen or otherwise taken without authorization. Accordingly, they are the property of the Jackson Estate.’
But the letter was apparently unsuccessful with attorney Alex Spiro then sending an email to the auction house’s lawyer, in which they noted the company had already informed the estate that they ‘will not comply with these demands.’
They wrote: ‘We write to notify you that we intend to seek a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction tomorrow (December 13) in New York Supreme Court. Please feel free to contact me should you have any questions.’
By Wednesday, December 13, the tapes had been removed from sale, though Gotta Have Rock and Roll are still selling a number of other items associated with the Bad singer, including a ‘Circa 1984 Owned + Worn Red Military Style Jacket’ which they estimate will sell for over $10,000.
The tapes had been noted as being ‘artifact ONLY with no copyright’ with reproduction ‘STRICTLY prohibited’ and had titles including ‘Oh Love’, ‘New Jelly’ and ‘Doing What My Heart.’
Jackson — known as The King Of Pop — is one of the most successful music artists of all-time.
He has estimated sales of over 400 million records worldwide in addition to having 13 Billboard Hot 100 number-one singles which is the third highest of any artist.
Jackson was also the first artist to have a top ten-single in the Billboard Hot 100 in five different decades.
Jackson — known as The King Of Pop — is one of the most successful music artists of all-time. He has estimated sales of over 400million records worldwide; he is pictured in 1992
If that already wasn’t enough, he is also regarded as the highest-selling individual music artist of all time worldwide by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).
Meanwhile, Jackson’s nephew Jaafar Jackson is set to play the King of Pop in an upcoming biopic called Michael, according to Deadline.
Jaafar is the son of Jermaine Jackson, brother of Michael and a member of The Jackson 5.
The 26-year-old has been singing and dancing since the age of 12, following the footsteps of his famous family.
Michael died in 2009 at age 50, due to a cocktail of sedatives leading to a cardiac arrest.
The biopic, which will be directed by Antoine Fuqua for Lionsgate, will be produced by GK Films and also John Branca and John McClain, who are co-executors of Michael Jackson’s estate.
Jaafar shared his gratitude at getting the role via his Twitter account, along with a black and white photo of himself dressed like his famous late uncle.
He has 13 Billboard Hot 100 number-one singles which is the third highest of any artist, the cover for 1982 album Thriller is shown
The Thriller singer has also been the focus of controversy for decades and even more so in recent years.
According to Deadline, the new biopic will cover the span of Jackson’s life from his childhood with The Jackson Five right through to the civil and criminal lawsuits before his death at the age of 50 in 2009.
Joe Drake, chair of the Lionsgate Motion Picture Group, said in a statement, ‘I am very excited that Lionsgate will be part of this epic film, and thrilled to be working with Graham, who has proven success in telling iconic life stories, from Bohemian Rhapsody to Ali; when combined with John, we couldn’t be in more extraordinary hands.’
With the Jackson family’s involvement in the project, it’s unclear how the film will include the allegations.