Hard drives containing new Michael Jackson songs and unreleased cuts from his ’80s peak were removed from the King of Pop’s estate by sister LaToya after the singer’s death on June 25th, Rolling Stone reports in our new issue, in an in-depth look at the battle between will co-executors and the Jackson family over Michael’s estate. Jackson’s manager Frank DiLeo told RS that there are over 100 songs that remain unreleased, but the hard drives removed from Jackson’s Los Angeles home feature songs Jackson worked on with Akon, Will.i.am and Ne-Yo.
While DiLeo says some of the material was “not up to [Jackson’s] standards,” there were six songs from recent sessions that were potential hits. “I said, ‘Produce them,’ ” DiLeo told Jackson. “And he said, ‘Naw, I’m not ready for you to listen to them.’ ” In the weeks following Jackson’s death, DiLeo says every day brings a new discovery into the singer’s unheard musical vault. “There are a couple of songs we recorded for the Bad album that we had to cut that are just sensational,” DiLeo adds.
However, as Rolling Stone‘s Claire Hoffman writes, the Jackson family, patriarch Joe Jackson in particular, is trying to wrestle away power of the estate away from attorney John Branca and John McClain, the two men named as executors in Jackson’s 2002 will. “They are trying to rewrite the will, trying to get control,” DiLeo tells RS. In the hours after Michael died, the family cleaned out his Los Angeles house, removing everything including the hard drives. “They thought Michael owned it all, so they took even the rented furniture,” DiLeo said. “That’s who’s going to run his estate?”
For much more regarding the fight over Jackson’s estate, plus DiLeo’s insight over Jackson’s addiction, check out the whole story in the new issue of Rolling Stone.
• Report: Columbia Pictures Scores Jackson Rehearsal Footage
• Katherine Jackson Wins Custody, Withdraws Bid for Michael’s Estate
• Jackson Family Challenges 2002 Will, Denies Abuse Accusations