News: Unreleased Michael Jackson Tracks Stolen, Hackers Snatch King Of Pop's Stash

Monday, Mar 5, 2012 11:15AM

Written by Biz Jones

Recent reports from Sony Music is confirming speculation suggesting a portion of music belonging to late music icon, Michael Jackson, has indeed been stolen.

While details are still coming together, Sony has confirmed that an unspecified number of records belonging to Jackson have been taken.

Sony says a number of Michael Jackson tracks have been stolen after its website was hacked. The company will not confirm how many tracks or what material was taken in the online attack. In 2010 Sony Music paid $250 million (£158m) to the late singer's estate for a seven-year deal for the rights to his remaining songs. The first tracks came out with the release of a posthumous album called Michael in December that year. (BBC UK)

Additional reporting claims the missing tracks stem from an April 2011 hacking.

Hackers have reportedly stolen more than 50,000 music files from Sony Music, including Michael Jackson's entire back catalog and a large number of unreleased songs from the late King of Pop. According to British newspaper The Sunday Times, the theft took place in April last year when hackers attacked Sony's PlayStation Network and stole the personal data of 77 million registered users. The simultaneous copying of over 50,000 music files was discovered by Sony several weeks later, says the Sunday Times, but has only now come to light. An exact breakdown of artists and repertoire included among the 50,000 illegally downloaded songs is not known, but it is said to contain Jackson's entire back catalog, including previously unheard duets with Black Eyed Peas Will.i.am and the late Queen singer Freddie Mercury. (Billboard)

Other artists reportedly impacted by the hacking include the late Jimi Hendrix and rock crew the Foo Fighters.

The hack has compromised the work of other artists managed by the firm, including songs by Jimi Hendrix, Paul Simon, Olly Murs, the Foo Fighters and Avril Lavigne. The source added that the second breach happening so soon after the first "would have made investors and artists think, 'What other part of Sony isn't secure?'" (Fox News)

Following Jackson's passing in 2009, Sony paid big bucks for his catalogue.

The company signed its contract with Jackson's estate nine months after he died from a drug overdose at the age of 50, leaving hundreds of millions of dollars of debt behind him. The deal also entitled the firm to use his music in computer games, television adverts and elsewhere, with profits from the arrangement to go into a trust shared by the singer's mother and three children. (The Guardian)

No further details have been revealed as of now.

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