Did Michael Jackson Will the Rights to the Beatles Catalogue Back to Paul McCartney?


Of the many unanswered questions surrounding the sudden passing of Michael Jackson, one of the largest on the minds of music fans is this: What happens to the rights to the 200 songs from the Beatles catalogue that Jackson purchased back in 1985? While it doesn't seem like anyone has a really strong bead on the definitive answer to that question, London's Mirror is reporting that Jackson may have willed them to Paul McCartney. The two former friends, who had collaborated on the hit singles "Say Say Say" and "The Girl Is Mine," famously fell out after Jackson emerged victorious in a bidding war with McCartney and Yoko Ono over who would own the rights to (and subsequently reap the royalties of) the Beatles catalogue. However, according to the Mirror, "Michael told his lawyers he was sad he no longer talks to Sir Paul and said he wanted to make things right."

At this time, it's impossible to determine the veracity of this report or if this plan ever advanced past the talking stage. Even if it were true, there would likely be a lengthy court battle before they are returned to their rightful owners, as Reuters reports that there is "a $200 million loan secured against it." Still, we're glad to see that Paul McCartney has put his personal beef aside for the moment and is taking the high road in the wake of the death of his old friend: "I feel privileged to have hung out and worked with Michael. He was a massively talented boy man with a gentle soul. His music will be remembered forever and my memories of our time together will be happy ones."

Jackson Leaving Beatles Songs to McCartney in Will [Spinner]