Paul Anka’s MJ Moment
Turns out Michael Jackson wasn’t the sole songwriter on his posthumous hit “This Is It.” The Gloved One had a little help from Paul Anka.
Anka, whose songwriting credits include “Diana,” “Lonely Boy” and the “Theme To The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson” co-wrote the tune in 1983 calling it “I Never Heard.” The song was originally recorded by Sa-Fire in the early 1990s.
The song was discovered in a box of tapes and featured Jackson’s voice accompanied by a piano. Although no one really knew anything about the song’s authorship, Sony Music speculated Jackson recorded the tune around the time of Off The Wall 30 years ago.
Strings were added with backup vocals from Jackson’s brothers. The song was released on MJ’s official Web site Oct. 11.
Anka heard media reports about the song sounding a lot like “I Never Heard.” At first he considered legal action, but that soon ended when the Jackson camp acknowledged his involvement.
“There’s nothing but honorable people here,” Anka said, confirming he will receive 50 percent of the song’s songwriting royalties. “They did the right thing. I don’t think that anybody tried to do the wrong thing. It was an honest mistake.”
Anka also said the track was recorded around the time Jackson was making Thriller, which would put place the song’s origin in the early ‘80s.