The popular YouTube series The Legends Panel reminded music fans this week that Michael Jackson didn’t actually “steal” the recording catalog of the Beatles from his former friend, singer Paul McCartney.
In the second of the three-part series finale, content creator Lamont Hicks gathers a group of legendary singers of today and yesteryear to break down the truth behind one of the biggest misconceptions involving Jackson’s purchase of the British foursome’s music catalog in the early 80s.
The business move, reportedly completed after the “Thriller” star first worked with the guitarist on the hit “Say Say Say,” and also included the catalogs of Little Richard and other black recording artists who paved the way for the rock and roll genre, ultimately led to Jackson and McCartney’s friendship fraying beyond repair and Paul openly distancing himself from Michael, the latter of whom died in 2009 at the age of 50.
In the new Legends Panel video, Hicks vocally emulates Jackson and breaks down the truth of the sale with hard facts that have resided on the internet for years, despite fans of the Beatles and McCartney often claiming that Michael went behind Paul’s back to make the purchase.
“I called you,” Hicks as Jackson claims in part two of The Legends Panel’s final bow, “and Paul, you had more money at that time. You could’ve easily [outbid] me [on the Beatles catalog].”
As proof, Hicks uses a clip of an interview from another YouTube channel featuring Grammy-nominated singer Marsha Ambrosius, who worked with Jackson on his This Is It tour, the same excursion that ultimately led to Michael succumbing to cardiac arrest during the rehearsal stage.
According to Ambrosius, when Jackson obtained the extensive Beatles catalog, he also garnered the entire works of singers Little Richard and Sly Stone of Sly and the Family Stone fame, before kindly returning the publishing rights to their respective owners as a show of respect to their offerings to music history and to finally allow the performers to gain power of their master recordings.
“That was worth a lot of money,” Martha specifically says of the “Tutti Frutti” singer’s recordings, “[and] he gave that right back to Little Richard.”
“The Beatles being upset about [Michael] purchasing their publishing [rights],” Ambrosius continues, “[well], if you had enough money to take it back,” she goes on, referencing McCartney’s wealth from his days as one of The Beatles and his decades-old solo career, “wouldn’t you?”
Hear “Michael” and “Little Richard” tell the truth about the deal at the 28:00 mark.
While Michael Jackson and Paul McCartney were not on speaking terms at the time of Jackson’s 2009 death, Paul did touch on their friendship and offered condolences after Michael’s sad passing, as the Telegraph reports.
[Featured Image by Carlo Allegri/Getty Images & Gustavo Caballero/Getty Images]