Quincy Jones wants his share of jewels from Michael Jackson’s crown. The King of Pop continues to earn more money than any pop star that’s dead or alive; so the Jackson’s may be broke but apparently Michael is not. Jones has filed a lawsuit for $10 million for breach-of-contract in connection with M.J.’s projects released after his death.
It’s been four years since Michael’s passing but he still made the Forbes’ list of “Top-Earning Dead Celebrities.” His estimated earnings were $160 million in the last year. He may be dead, but according to Forbes Michael makes more money than any celebrity, living or dead.
Jones who produced Jackson’s best-selling projects; Off the Wall, Thriller and Bad is at war with MJJ Productions and Sony Music. This legendary producer has won a total of 27 Grammys in his long standing music catalogue.
Jones filed a complaint on Friday in Los Angeles Superior Court stating that the master recordings he worked on were remixed and edited wrongfully just to hinder him from profiting on the back end. This mega producer has also alleged that he has not received credit on Jackson’s posthumous releases and denied the appropriate royalties.
Quincy’s main gripes concern the This is It movie and its accompanying soundtrack, the 25th anniversary edition of Jackson’s Bad album and the Michael Jackson Cirque du Soleil productions.
According to his attorney, Henry Gradstein, Jones has long been frustrated with these issues and felt as if he had no other choice but to take a more formal approach.
Jones’ lawsuit states that he believes the Jackson parties entered into a venture agreement with Sony on the down low. This secret agreement states that the Jackson Label and Sony would share profits.
Jones has also alleged that rights to the master recordings “reverted from Sony to MJJ” and the albums which featured performances of the King of Pop were distributed by the Jackson Label, instead of Sony; including albums embodying one or more of the Masters.
According to this allegation the defendants tried to divert revenues to MJJ and then camouflage them as profits instead of royalties.
The essence of these allegations claims that the royalties Jones should have received under prior agreements were reduced.
Jones made agreements with the King of Pop in 1978 and 1985 for work on Jackson’s solo albums. The contracts stipulate that Jones be given the first chance to remix or re-edit any of the master recordings.
Jones is requesting a minimum of $10 million in damages for the contract that was allegedly breached; he also wants royalties due to him that he’s never received, remixing fees that would otherwise have been paid, and compensation for the loss of the value of credit he would have received.
The attorney for Michael Jackson’s Estate says that the estate is sad to learn of the lawsuit. They believe Jones has been compensated appropriately for his 35 years of work with the singer.
The Jackson family may be crying broke but Michael Jackson isn’t. He is still killing the music industry from the grave.
To bring clarity to this statement, Madonna heads the list of highest-earning singers that are still living, and in this same time frame she made $125 million compared to Michael’s $160 million.
Right behind Jackson in second place is Elvis Presley who earned $55 million from the grave. Peanuts cartoon creator, Charles Schulz, follows Presley with earnings of $37 million.
Forbes recently made public its annual Top-Earning Dead Celebrities List which revealed Jackson as the reigning King with $160 million last year. This is Jackson’s third time at the top of the list. Most of the Jackson’s earnings came from two Cirque du Soleil shows in addition to his stake in the Sony/ATV catalog.
Michael Jackson may still be the king but Quincy Jones wants his share of jewels from the King of Pop’s crown.
By: Cherese Jackson (Virginia)