Quincy Jones Awarded $9.4 Million in Royalties Dispute With Michael Jackson Estate

Michael Jackson with Quincy Jones at the 1984 Grammy Awards.
Michael Jackson with Quincy Jones at the 1984 Grammy Awards. Chris Walter/WireImage

Quincy Jones, the legendary music producer behind some of Michael Jackson‘s biggest hits, was awarded $9.4 million in damages on Wednesday, July 26, in a legal dispute with the late King of Pop’s estate.

The New York Times reported that a jury in Los Angeles found that Jones, 84, had been underpaid his share of royalties for the use of Jackson’s music in the singer’s posthumous 2009 concert film, This Is It, and two Cirque du Soleil shows. Jones had filed a lawsuit against MJJ Productions in 2013, claiming he was owed $30 million, while the estate countered that he was owed only $392,000.

“As an artist, maintaining the vision and integrity of one’s creation is of paramount importance,” the producer said in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter. “I, along with the team I assembled with Michael, took great care and purpose in creating these albums, and it has always given me a great sense of pride and comfort that three decades after they were originally recorded, these songs are still being played in every corner of the world.”

He continued, “This lawsuit was never about Michael, it was about protecting the integrity of the work we all did in the recording studio and the legacy of what we created. Although this judgment is not the full amount that I was seeking, I am very grateful that the jury decided in our favor in this matter. I view it not only as a victory for myself personally, but for artists’ rights overall.”

Jones worked with Jackson, who died at age 50 in June 2009, on three of the pop icon’s hit albums: Off the Wall (1979), Thriller (1982) and Bad (1987). According to the Times, Jones testified in court that he played a crucial role in the mega-success of the records, saying, “A great song can make the worst artist in the world a star.”


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