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Paul Anka Claims MJ's New Song Is A Rip-Off!

| Filed under: Music MinuteMichael Jackson


Wait a sec! Paul Anka is still alive???? Since when???

We gather most you don't even know who that is, so we'll enlighten you: He's a really old singer. There, now you are educated.

It's possible that some of you found Michael Jackson's new song familiar sounding, and if that is the case, let Paul clear the air for you. He is claiming that This Is It is a rip-off of a song he wrote for Jackson back in 1983. MJ had turned the song down, so Paul gave it to another artist named Safire.

However, before all that, Paul had recorded demo tapes with Michael singing the song titled I Never Heard. It was after these demos were made that MJ walked away from the song, but he kept the demo tapes for himself. At the time, Paul got his lawyers involved to get them back, but he was never successful. Now, Paul is claiming that the This Is It is using samples from those demo tapes.

We've taken a listen and the similarities are undeniable. As far as we can see, Paul has got himself a case!

CLICK HERE to listen and tell us what you think.

[Image via WENN.]

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81 comments to “Paul Anka Claims MJ's New Song Is A Rip-Off!”

  1. 1

    Paul Anka wrote the Jeopardy Theme Song

  2. 2

    i'm not sure that it really matters all that much.
    just let mj's managers release the song.
    michael was in debt hardcore, so they need the money to pay all that off anyway, yes?

  3. 3

    LOVE IT!!!! And no surprise, Michael's vocal sounds like a demo anyway.

  4. 4


  5. 5

    MJ had nothing to do with this!!

  6. 6

    MJ co-wrote the song. This is from 1980 actually. SONY IS A EFFING RIP OFF. Don't blame MJ! Blame the $$$$$$$$$$$ accounts and CEO of SONY!

  7. 7

    They found the tapes in the garage. "Should we sell these in the garage sale?" "Put it in the 'maybe' pile"

  8. 8

    Other than being a "really old siner" …. here's Anka's abbreviated bio from Wikipedia: Anka first became famous as a teen idol in the late 1950s and 1960s with hit songs like "Diana'", "Lonely Boy", and "Put Your Head on My Shoulder". He went on to write such well known music as the theme for The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson and one of Tom Jones's biggest hit, "She's A Lady", and the English lyrics for Frank Sinatra's signature song, "My Way".

    So he has a strong list of accomplishments and I think it might be said that he is a well respected member of the music industry.

    Perez, you should show him some of that respect. He, for God sakes, wrote the lyrics to"My Way" that in and of itself is a HUGE accomplishment and a part of the American songbook. It's a classic.

  9. 9


  10. 10

    yep the same

  11. 11

    Ageist much? Those comments are really insulting to older music artists. However, I do agree with you that the song is a rip-off.

  12. 12

    MJ was clearly a musical genius, but still a very disturbed man. If the allegations against him are true.

  13. scb89 says – reply to this


    it's got the same lyrics and same kinda tune just one's faster and one's slower…there must be a catch somewhere though. im sure mj wouldnt just use the song without permission and all that stuff!

  14. 14

    It's all about Tito and Marlon's backrounds… "oooooo"…."mmmmmmm"….

  15. ap076 says – reply to this


    Re: munkychum – Sorry but you are mistaken, Merv Griffin wrote the theme song to Jeopardy.

  16. ap076 says – reply to this


    Perez, your tolerance for homophobia is and should be low (though some would debate your own inner homophobia), why is that not the case with ageism. It is not becoming and this is from someone younger than you.
    I do agree with you Paul has a very good case.

  17. 17

    sounds like the same song

  18. 18

    Um , I know who Paul Anka is.
    don't assume that every young person only knows about the mediocre singers of today.
    Paul Anka wrote My Way, which was sung by Frank Sinatra, Elvis and even Sid Vicious

  19. 19

    Totes the same.

  20. 20

    Why are you insulting Paul Anka? He is the victim in all this and he is still more relevant than you are. He is acting pretty quick legally for being "that old"? Wise up your cock garbler…

  21. 21

    psssh, does it even matter? mj made it waaaay better. this anka loser should be thanking him.

  22. 22

    Oh Pumpkinhead, are you feeling so emasculated by your exclusion from the march that you need to disrespect an accomplished artist & songwriter? I thought you were a self-proclaimed music lover. Paul is a legend and still performs.

  23. heyo! says – reply to this


    weeeelll, hes deadd so theres nothing he can do about it.
    let it go!

    and the lyrics are different!!
    and so are the beats!!

  24. 24

    Paul Anka ?
    dude just go back
    under the rock you were
    at , cause I've never heard of you
    until Mj passes away . It doesn't matter anymore !

  25. 25

    I can't believe the A-holes swinging their fists to take all those children's money away. They deserve it. People need to get over themselves and let those poor kids have the money left to them.

  26. 26

    I love Michael, but Paul is right. I don't know why Sony thought they could get away with this.

  27. 27

    Oh my god, I know that song sounds familiar. All he can do is sue Sony. Since it was a demo from MJ, and the man is dead, there's nothing he can do but to sue Sony since they released it.

  28. @v@ says – reply to this


    Mr. Anka might just make a big chunk of money here, regardless of whose fault this is. They sound pretty much identical to me.

  29. mbran says – reply to this


    Sadly the songs are very much alike, and that Safire singer does sound like Michael Jackson. But like someone said in these comments, let MJ's party figure it out…or atleast leave the music alone..its MJ!!

  30. 30

    Who the phuck is Paul Anka anyway. What makes him think he can call an MJ song a rip off…someone explain to me what this man has done that gives him the right to degrade a song

  31. 31

    It sounds like a rip off. Another hit to the estate of Michael Jackson.

  32. 32

    wow…I haven't heard a rip off like that since Will I Am started recording.

  33. 33

    Wow. How rude to a man who was one of the foundations of the pop music industry. Perez, get a clue. The entire music industry owes a lot to the group of singers that included Paul Anka. Did you bother to check his bio. He's far more than a singer, and frankly, you owe him an apology.

    He has every right to demand royalties from a song snatched by Michael Jackson's brothers and released by Sony to make money.

  34. 34

    o gosh

    and let the accusations and bullshit nobodys who come from under a rock to ask for money CONTINUE
    blah blah whats new

  35. 35

    Michaels not here so Paul should stop whining, MJ made the song waaaay better than it was. The version that Safire woman sang was crap! MJ changed up the lyrics and the beats and made it somewhat his own, so big deal.

  36. 36

    Re: AlphaBarbie – He did not degrade a song, he wrote the freaking song, you my whore are degrading the female species. If you knew how to take your head out of your ass and google Paul Anka, you would figure out that he went on to write such well known music as the theme for The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson and one of Tom Jones's biggest hit, "She's A Lady", and the English lyrics for Frank Sinatra's signature song, "My Way".
    He has been active in the music industry since 1955 (he was only 14) and he is only 68 years old. He became one of the first performers to have his own show in Las Vegas, this guy is a legend not a nobody.
    Just become he his out of your scope of knowledge it does not mean that he is irrelevant, i guess this is not something you would have learnt by watching "Da Kink in my hair".

  37. 37

    Re: munkychum – that was Merv Griffin who wrote that not Paul Anka.

  38. 38

    Paul Anka is aslo Jason Batemans father-in-law!

  39. 39

    um so what? ya its the same but thats why MJ never released it and probably never wanted it to be released. Sony is the one to blame. Paul Anka can STFU. leave MJ alone. he is still criticized for EVERYTHING he did even after death. people need to get a life!

  40. 40

    really old singer? you idiot. He wrote dozens of hit songs, not the least of which was MY WAY (an "old singer" named Sinatra did ok with that one), the theme to THE TONIGHT SHOW (you might have heard of it, it was on the air a few years), She's Having my Baby (yuck), Diana, and that great Kodak commercial jingle, "The Times of Your Life" (great one, really). also, his daughter is married to Jason Bateman, LOL.

    why be snarky about Paul Anka? He's extremely wealthy and was very successful….will you next diss Burt Bacharach, Barry Manilow…oh wait, Dolly Parton…isn't she a "really old singer" too (who writes songs also)? Streisand is old too, friend. oh, and…er…Tony Bennett, Carole King…


  41. 41

    BIG RIP OFF………………………………….

  42. 42

    I'm leaving for LA early tomorrow morning til Friday. I'll P while I'm there at night from the hotel. mwcwywi. One day it will happen. Yat the whole time for sure. ym yn 46 ms bg.

  43. 43

    Paul Anka admits MJ co wrote the song, so what the heck is Anka moaning about? MJ's estate have the rights of a co-writer.

  44. 44

    When I hear Paul Anka's name, I think to myself, "He wrote 'My Way'". How cool! Then the other song titles just begin to flow. The man is MUCHO talented and still has his singing chops.
    Sorry this incident happened. Hope it all gets sorted out soon. :(

  45. 45

    definitely the same song..anka deserves to be paid.

  46. 46

    Here we go again. Another person coming out of the blue to try and scoope up their few seconds of shame. Did Michael release this song?? Ummm, No he didn't. If this guy feels that "This is It" is a rip off of his song then perhaps his lawyers (if he went to any yet) should have advised him that SONY are the one's who should be looked at and not Michael. "This is It" was one out of thousands of songs that Michael demoed yet never released. Every song that SONY decides to take out of Michael's catelogue of un-released songs and then release will be attacked by people claiming that it's their song. Michael worked with people who had a good song/ideas that he really liked and obviously he passed on Paul Anka. Everyone samples other artist music. Look at all the people who have sampled Michael's masterpieces. It's even possible that Michael informed Paul Anka about sampling him (if he did) but Michael isn't here to defend himself if Paul claims that they ever had a conversation about such things… Wonder whose next??

  47. 47

    Team Anka!

  48. 48

    Re: MJ fan59 – Sorry MJ Fan but Paul Anka was relevant back in the day. He doesn't need to ride Michael's coat tails…but he wrote the song and like most song writers he should be entitled to what is rightfully his.

  49. 49

    The artist Safire was doing a bad MJ ripoff back in the day. She sounded like him way before he sounded like her!

  50. 50

    Re: MJ fan59 – Don't forget about MJ sampling other artist's music…
    P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing) (1982) sampled Carl Carlton's She's a Bad Mama Jama (She's Built, She's Stacked) (1981)
    Wanna Be Startin' Somethin' (1982) sampled Manu Dibango's Soul Makossa (1972)
    I Want You Back ('88 Remix) (1988) sampled Funkadelic's You'll Like It Too (1981)
    Someone Put Your Hand Out (1991) sampled Shalamar's Take That to the Bank (1978)
    2 Bad (1995) sampled Run-DMC's King of Rock (1985).
    Scream Louder (Flyte Tyme Remix) (1995) sampled Sly & the Family Stone's Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin) (1969)
    Unbreakable (2001) sampled Shaquille O'Neal feat. The Notorious B.I.G.'s You Can't Stop the Reign (1996).

  51. 51

    Re: MJ fan59 – And covers of other artist's songs.
    Love Is Here and Now You're Gone (1971) is a cover of The Supremes's Love Is Here and Now You're Gone (1966)
    Rockin' Robin (1971) is a cover of Bobby Day's Rockin' Robin (1958)
    You've Got a Friend (1971) is a cover of Carole King's You've Got a Friend (1971)
    Ain't No Sunshine (1972) is a cover of Bill Withers's Ain't No Sunshine (1971)
    My Girl (1972) is a cover of The Temptations's My Girl (1965)
    People Make the World Go Round (1972) is a cover of The Stylistics's People Make the World Go Round (1971)
    Shoo-Be-Doo-Be-Doo-Da-Day (1972) is a cover of Stevie Wonder's Shoo-Be-Doo-Be-Doo-Da-Day (1968)
    You Can Cry on My Shoulder (1972) is a cover of Brenda Holloway's You Can Cry on My Shoulder (1965)
    Too Young (1973) is a cover of Nat King Cole's Too Young (1951)
    With a Child's Heart (1973) is a cover of Stevie Wonder's With a Child's Heart (1966)
    Girlfriend (1979) is a cover of Wings's Girlfriend (1978)
    Come Together (1995) is a cover of The Beatles's Come Together (1969)

  52. 52

    "Rob Stringer, the chairman of the Columbia/Epic Label Group, said in an interview on Sunday that he did not know when Mr. Jackson’s original tape had been recorded and that he had not known about its similarity to the Safire track until Jackson fans discussed it online over the weekend. He declined to comment further on Monday.

    In a statement, the Jackson estate said: “The song was picked because the lyrics were appropriate because of the name Michael gave his tour. We are thrilled to present this song in Michael’s voice for the first time, and that Michael’s fans have responded in unprecedented numbers. The song was co-written by the legendary Paul Anka.”

    Mr. Anka said that late on Monday afternoon Mr. McClain called him to apologize, saying that he had not known that Mr. Anka was one of the authors of the original song, and that he would receive all due credit and royalties for the song.

    Mr. Anka said that Mr. McClain told him: “We took Sony 50 songs, and this was the best of all of them. My thought was that this one sounded different. Now I know why.”

    There were no hard feelings, Mr. Anka added. “I said, ‘It’s fine if it’s an honest mistake. These things happen.’”

    SOURCE: Arts Beat, NY Times Blogs

  53. 53

    OMG people, all he said was that Paul Anka is old….and he is!!! That is not an insult, it's the truth. Who the hell knows how this happened, I am pretty sure Michael would not have released this without thinking it was ok to do so, especially since the media and everyone in the world is up his ass to get into his business. Just let the poor man rest in peace, and leave the rest to lawyers.

  54. 54

    Re: totesmygoats – Well here ya go.

  55. 55

    they are the same song completely. whether you loooove mj or not don't lie to yourself

  56. 56

    Re: aliinla – I agree. Every old person worships this song! My parents and their friends sing My way, lmao, so funny!

  57. 57

    Michael Jackson's estate acknowledged Monday that Paul Anka co-wrote the singer's first posthumous new single, This Is It, which was released at midnight Sunday on Jackson's official website and sent to radio stations.

    After the song's release, many listeners noticed its resemblance to a song titled I Never Heard, which Anka and Jackson co-wrote and recorded in 1983.

    "It's exactly the same song," Anka told the New York Times. "They just changed the title."

    After it was recorded, Anka said Jackson took the tapes. Anka said he threatened to sue to get them back and now has the original tapes in his possession, along with documentation that the copyright for the song was held by both men.

    Anka told the newspaper Monday that he had not been contacted about the use of the song, which credited only Jackson as a writer.

    Later in the day, Jackson's estate issued a statement saying "the song was co-written by the legendary Paul Anka."

    The Ottawa-born singer and songwriter said record executive John McClain, whom Jackson named as an executor in his will, also called him to apologize and say that he would receive all due credit and royalties.

    Anka said Jackson's estate moved quickly to resolve the situation, and he's been promised 50 per cent of the song's profits. He said he's satisfied with the outcome
    Source: cbc.ca/news
    ps: screw all those who said Anka was only in it for the money.. Here you have it, royalties should go where they are due

  58. 58

    Paul, get in line to sue his dead ass

  59. 59

    Re: Blueskies18 – no one said anything about Paul Anka was riding Michael's coat tails but then again Michael surely didn't have to ride any coat tails himself. I'm pretty sure that Paul Anka knew of Michael doing this song but Michael never released it, probably because he wasn't satisfied with it at the time but could have possibly done something with it later on down the road. Paul Anka should be going after SONY and not blaming Michael for this. He is going to go after Michael's estate instead of going after "big bad" SONY because it's easier to go against someone who can't defend themself.

  60. 60

    Good for Paul Anka. This is genius at work folks! You go, Mike!

  61. 61

    Re: Miley Cyrus…The Princess of All Media – Obviously you didn't read what I said… I said Michael did work with those whose ideas/songs he liked. Half of the artist you mentioned were artist who inspired Michael like; Sly & the Family Stone, The Supremes, The Beatles (and he had every right to sample them because he owned the rights to their music) , Stevie Wonder (one of his biggest inspirations) and he loved that music from the 60's, he felt that era had the best ballad's so of course he would gain ideas from that era. Alot of the other song's you mention (Rockin' Robin, With a Child's Heart, and Ain't no Sunshine) are all songs that were released under MOTOWN, a time where him and his brothers had absolutely no creative say so.

  62. 62

    Re: Miley Cyrus…The Princess of All Media – And Yes, he did enlist the help of B.I.G on his Invinible album (this after B.I.G's death) but he also worked with him on the HIStory album while he was alive. And Yes, he also had Shaq spit a verse on the HIStory album but he was once again working with people who he liked musically at the time. There is nothing wrong with sampling another artist music, but there is something wrong with coming out with your hands open hollering robbery when that person is no longer here to defend themself, especially when that person never had intentions on releasing the song when they were alive. And like I said before, who's to say that Michael and Paul hadn't worked something out in the past? But Michael isn't here any longer to plead his side of the story. It's Paul's word against No one's and that is why he isn't blaming SONY.

  63. 63

    Re: Miley Cyrus…The Princess of All Media – All in All what I was trying to say is that Paul was barking up the wrong tree. This wouldn't have been an issue had SONY not found this song in a box and then had the bright idea to re-record it and release it as if Michael was working on it to be released. If Paul had a part in the development in the song then he should be compensated, but Michael didn't just rip the song out of the man's hand and run. Paul must have given him the song with the agreement that if Michael ever decided to use it, then Paul would be compensated. Well, Michael never decided to use the song, SONY on the other hand decided to release it so they should be held responsible and not MJ's estate. But in the end he got his money so hopefully he's now happy and when SONY releases another MJ song from the vault I hope no one else comes out of the bushes going after MJ's estate. Michael always said that SONY was up to no good and he is absolutely right. SONY had us all fooled even some fans like me when it came down to music that Michael wanted the public to hear. This song was deep down in a box for a reason… The song is lovely BTW lol

  64. 64

    I don't believe it!!

  65. 65

    Ya'll can insult Paul Anka all you want. The man deserves to get paid. You think sampling is free? It's not. Besides this ain't sampling, this is copy. The same unmistakable melody and the proof, the SAME LYRIC pieces "I saw your face a thousand times" come on this is a slam dunk. The record label has to pay up

  66. 66

    According to the London TImes, Paul Anka calimed that MJ stole the demo tapes and refused to give them back. The Jackson family have since apologized and given Anka 50% of the royalties - so sayeth the London Times. Fair enough. I can't say my opinion of MJ hasn't suffered. I suspect a lot of the people in the industry who actually worked with him, had an unflattering opinion of him.

  67. 67

    Paul Anka wrote hit songs such as "My Way" for Frank Sinatra and "She's a Lady" for Tom Jones, "Put Your Head on My Shoulder" a 50's hit, wrote the theme to "The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson".
    He is one of the legends in the business and Michael Jackson was quite vocal about proclaiming so.
    It is people like you and remarks like yours that minimize and diminish the great ones — and why? Because YOU'RE STUPID, IGNORANT, UNTALENTED & A SMALL, SMALL LITTLE MAN.
    It's only a matter of time for you in this business.

  68. 68

    LOL and MJ's estate gives Anka 50% publishing rights. Guess it is the same song after all

  69. 69

    Paul Anka is the Bob Dylan of his time…a brilliant songwriter whose many hit songs were recorded & made famous by others. He deserves every penny of the 50% earned by the Jacksons for the song he wrote. I'm sure even MJ would give him that. Got 1st day, 1st show for This Is It…love ya, MJ!

  70. 70

    The original version is on Safire's "I Wasn't Born Yesterday" CD and is better than this trash. The Jackson's are a sorry bunch of leeches.

  71. 71

    DAYUM! I just thought it was a shitty song. It's a shitty STOLEN song! The best thing the money-grubbing Jackson clan can do is claim they just didn't know and give Paul Stanka all of the money from it…

  72. 72

    They're already saying Anka's getting his 50% cut–this is a non-story now…

  73. 73

    he made it better
    and it's sony's fault so leave mj alone

  74. 74

    i love mj soooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo much

  75. 75

    This sounds to real for Paul to have made this up! Yes Perez I remember Paul and I am not as old as dirt? How well do you know Paul or his work I bet you didn't know shit about him until you did your homework….

  76. 76

    WTF Perez, why are you insulting Paul Anka, especially since he's int he right in this story? What is your fucking problem. The comeuppance is going to be phenomenal and everybody's gonna cheer!

  77. 77

    I doubt MJ would have ever released this song if he was alive. It sounds like a demo, and probably the only reason why they did was because SONY, they are trying to promote the movie of the same name! If Anka co-wrote it, he should get some credit. Fin.

  78. 78

    Re: booznbabes – lol how is it stolen when MJ CO WROTE IT lol you people are fuckin stupid

  79. 79

    fuck SONY for this mess. they are to blame, MJ would never wanted this

  80. 80


  81. 81

    i love MJ