Quincy Jones Files $10M Lawsuit Against Michael Jackson’s Estate

    October 26, 2013

Legendary music record producer and songwriter, Quincy Jones, has filed a lawsuit against the estate of Michael Jackson. He alleges that the singer owes him millions in record royalties and production fees associated with some of Jackson’s greatest hits.

Jones’ lawsuit seeks compensation in the amount of an estimated $10 million from Jackson’s estate and Sony Music Entertainment. His claim also states that both entities knowingly released re-mastered versions of the songs in an effort to manipulate his entitlement to royalties and production-related cost. In addition to being used for the “This Is It” soundtrack, the re-mastered music was also included in several Cirque du Soleil shows based on a number of Jackson’s hits that Jones produced.

Jones’ legal team also points out that the act of re-mastering the records is an concise breach of contract. Jones’ production contracts with Jackson stated that he was entitled to have the first call in regards to any editing of the songs, as a means of protecting his professional reputation and musicianship.

According to Billboard, Jones also claims that he went unaccredited for his work on Jackson’s final project, “This Is It.” Jones’ legal counsel is requesting a full accounting report of the estate’s earnings from the works in question to determine how much he is entitled to. “Quincy has been frustrated with these matters for a number of years, felt he was not making any progress and needed to take more formal action,” said Jones’ attorney Henry Gradstein.

The Jackson estate released a brief statement in regards to Jones’ allegations. “To the best of its knowledge, Mr. Jones has been appropriately compensated over approximately 35 years for his work with Michael.”

Most people may not know the extent of Jones’ involvement with Michael Jackson’s career, but Jones is responsible for a vast majority of the legendary singer’s most notable hits. If you’ve ever listened to any Michael Jackson record, 9 times out of 10, you’ve heard some of Quincy Jones’ work.


Jones’ produced Jackson’s entire “Off the Wall” album. The 1979 album includes the self-titled “Off the Wall” record, in addition to hit songs like “Don’t Stop ’til You Get Enough,” “Rock with You,” and “She’s Out of My Life.” As of today, the album has sold more than 20 million copies world wide, and is certified 8x multi-platinum in the United States.


However, Jones’ greatest work with Jackson came with the release of the “Thriller” album. The full nine-track -album that housed seven hit singles was also produced by Jones. “Thriller” has been deemed the “best selling album of all time,” selling an estimated 65 million copies worldwide. The iconic album includes monumental hits including the self-titled “Thriller” track, “Beat It,” “Billie Jean,” “P.Y.T.,”and “Human Nature.”

Jones’ was also the main producer on Jackson’s “Bad” album, which sold approximately 65 million units worldwide. With hits like, “Leave Me Alone,” “Dirty Diana,” “The Way You Make Me Feel,” and “Man in the Mirror,” the “Bad” album is considered Jackson’s second best-selling album, behind “Thriller.


Image(s) via Wikimedia Commons | Quincy Jones   Wikipedia | Michael Jackson  Wikipedia | Thriller (Michael Jackson album)

Wikipedia | Off the Wall album