Paul Anka paid tribute to Michael Jackson at a concert in Chile on Monday, February 22 - by performing their song "This Is It". The "Lonely Boy" hitmaker contacted his lawyers in 2009 after learning the track was to be marketed as the King of Pop's first posthumous release - because it was actually a song he and Jackson wrote in 1983, called "I Never Heard".
The matter was resolved after Anka struck a deal to receive 50 per cent of the profits - and he proved there is no ill will by singing "This Is It" live at a gig in Vina del Mar and dedicating it to Jackson. Sitting at his piano, an emotional Anka told the crowd, "Many years ago a young man came to my home. He was 21 years old and he said he wanted to write songs with me. We spent many weeks together in my studio writing, preparing for the album, but unfortunately we never got to do the project".
"Recently this man died very tragically. They went to his home and they found this song in his drawer and they thought it was a new song and they got very excited and released it as part of a film. But they found out very quickly it was not a new song but one that I wrote with him many years ago."
"We didn't have any legal problems because in respect of him, I wanted things to be smooth, so I gave them permission to go ahead with the song that we wrote together. His name was Michael Jackson and this is it."
Anka then began the ballad for the audience, who cheered as images of Jackson flashed on a video screen and his vocals were played aloud.