Paul Anka gets 50% cut in Michael Jackson's 'This is It' single after rip-off claims
It must be one of the fastest-made deals in show business history.
Paul Anka started Monday saying Michael Jackson's new single "This Is It" is a rip-off of one of his songs ... and within hours the songwriter became a 50% partner in the publishing rights to the record.
Anka will get other profits as well, but the publishing rights are the big ticket item, and sources say Jackson's estate has agreed that Anka will get half.
Earlier in the day, Anka told TMZ.com that in 1983, he wrote a song with Jackson called "I Never Heard."
After the demo of the song was cut in Anka's studio in Carmel, CA. he says he took the tape to a studio in Hollywood to put the finishing touches on it for Anka's duets album, "Walk a Fine Line." Anka claims Jackson then took the tapes from the studio.
Anka told TMZ that he called the lawyers who repped both singers and threatened a lawsuit if he didn't get the tapes back. Anka got them back, but believes Jackson made a copy and used the track with his voice from "I Never Heard" -- and simply retitled it, "This Is It."
Anka revealed that the people handling Michael Jackson's estate apologized Monday for the "rip off" and offered "anything you want" to resolve the situation.
Lawyer John Branca reportedly told TMZ, "We acknowledge that Michael and Paul wrote this song together."
According to Anka, John McClain, the co-Special Administrator for Jackson's estate, said Monday, "Michael couldn't have written this song alone. It's not his style."
Anka says McClain now acknowledges that "This is It" is really Paul's song, and said, "We'll give you whatever you want, whatever it takes we'll do the right thing."
Anka says he's not trying to hold the estate up but he wants them to be fair.
The estate certainly isn’t shy about acknowledging his involvement. Anka says McClain asked him to do promotion for the song.
An AOL poll on Monday found that 85% of voters love “This is It,” with Daily News Music Critic Jim Farber describing it as "vintage King of Pop."