Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Michael Jackson: New Album Stalled, Friends and Family Fighting


It’s not easy putting out this new Michael Jackson album. In fact, it’s turned into a war among family and friends.

There are big, big problems concerning which tracks to put on an album of unreleased material that’s supposed to be in stores for Christmas. Right now, even as you read this, Sony Music is struggling with all the parties involved to finalize details and start making CDs.

The biggest issues have come because of what’s known as the “Cascio” tracks. Five of them are so good that they’ve been slated for inclusion. But there’s the rub. According to sources, co-executor John McClain has poisoned the water with Katherine Jackson regarding the Cascio family. On Monday, Mrs. Jackson apparently insisted that no tracks from the Cascio sessions be included.

Adding to the anti-Cascio field are Tito Jackson‘s sons, known as the 3 T’s. The middle T, Taryll, is said to be very bitter about the Cascios. “For years the T’s tried to get Michael to record their songs,” says an insider. “Now they’re faced with the fact that Michael recorded with the Cascios, and not them. They’re not happy.”

Adding to the trouble is that the T’s and McClain have evidently drawn Michael’s two eldest children into the fight. Prince and Paris were with their father when he stayed at the New Jersey home of close family friends Dominic and Connie Cascio from August to November, 2007. They witnessed their father working with Cascio sons Eddie and Frank, and singer Bobby Ewing.

The Ts, who are close to the children, especially Terrell, according to sources, have pressured the children to say the vocals on the tracks are not those of their father. Initially, Prince Jackson, 13, had vouched for the recordings. But recently, an email was sent to the estate’s executors from Paris, 11, claiming the voice belongs to an impostor. The only problem, sources say, is that the email was time stamped while Paris was in school.

In the end, it may not matter what the Ts, Michael’s children, or his mother, or John McClain thinks. Sony made a deal with the estate earlier this year that could be worth $200 million. They’re so keen on the Cascio tracks they even hired forensic audiologists to make sure the vocals are Michael’s and not those of an imitator. The Jackson family will likely have to accept those findings and let the estate and Sony proceed with the album.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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