Grammy legend Quincy Jones is suing Michael Jackson's estate to the tune of at least $10 million in back royalties for the use of some of the King of Pop's greatest hits which he co-wrote, adding he was also not given credit in the pop superstar's posthumous film "This Is It". The lawsuit was filed by the 80-year-old producer on Friday, October 25 in Los Angeles and named Sony Music Entertainment as a co-defendant.
Jones claims that the hits "Billie Jean", "Thriller" and "Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough" were improperly re-edited to deprive him of royalties and producer's fees. The re-edited music was used in "This Is It", the 2009 concert film that documented Jackson's rehearsals for the concert tour of the same name, and in a pair of high-grossing Cirque du Soleil shows, "Immortal" and "One".
Jackson's estate was saddened by Jones' lawsuit, which even sought a full accounting of the estate's profits from his works in order for him to determine the full scope of his claims. "To the best of [our] knowledge, Mr. Jones has been appropriately compensated over approximately 35 years for his work with Michael," read a statement by the estate.
Incidentally, Jones' lawsuit comes shortly after Forbes named Jackson as 2013's top-earning dead celebrity, for an estimated $160 million in earnings made from October 2012 to October 2013 from the Cirque du Soleil shows and the singer's extensive music catalogue.