News broke late yesterday that “This Is It,” the Michael Jackson song being released as a single to coincide with the release of the film of the same name, was in fact co-written by Paul Anka of all people, in 1983. After the recording, Jackson disappeared with the tapes, and Anka threatened to sue. In 1991, the song appeared on an album by R&B singer Sa-Fire, and it was credited to both Anka and Jackson. John McClain, who produced the new version of the song, says they presented Sony with over 50 songs to choose from, and that this one was chosen because of its lyrics, which worked nicely with the name Jackson had given what was to be his final tour.
Surprisingly, all parties involved appear to be reacting reasonably to the whole thing. Paul Anka was basically like, “Oh man, this is sorta fucked up, you know?” And Michael Jackson’s people were like, “Oh no, I think we may have fucked up.” Then Paul Anka was like, “Aw, it’s not a big deal…. seems like it was an honest mistake! Just make sure you pay me!”