Most California pop music lovers are familiar with record producer Quincy Jones. He has helped many singers, songwriters and performers climb to the top of the billboard charts over the past few decades. One superstar with whom he had a close alliance, both on a personal and professional level, was Michael Jackson. That’s why some may be surprised to learn that Jones has been engaged in raging contract disputes with Jackson’s estate.
The music world changed forever the day Jackson unexpectedly died of a drug overdose from medication allegedly given to him by his personal physician. Since his passing, Jones has been involved in litigation against his estate, requesting $30 million he claimed he was entitled to through royalties. The Jackson estate came out fighting, saying Jones had never even read the contracts he and Jackson signed, and although he may be entitled to some money, the amount wouldn’t even come close to the millions he was demanding.
A jury trial ended with Jones being awarded $9.4 million. Attorneys for Jackson’s estate say even that much is too much when it’s money that belongs to Jackson’s heirs, not Quincy Jones. However, the attorneys also said they were pleased that the jury agreed that Jones was not due tens of millions in royalties.
Contract disputes are often multifaceted disagreements. In this case, Jones was claiming that he was owed money for several productions he worked on with Jackson, and also that, since his death, his estate disguised royalties as profit by inappropriately remixing some of Jackson’s songs. California musicians, songwriters and performers may seek help for contract-related problems by turning to experienced business and commercial law attorneys for guidance.
Source: Los Angeles Times, “Jury awards producer Quincy Jones $9.4 million in dispute with Michael Jackson estate“, Gerrick D. Kennedy, July 26, 2017