Quincy Jones Granted $9.42 Million from Michael Jackson Estate in Royalties Lawsuit

On Wednesday (July 26), Quincy Jones was granted $9.42 million from the Michael Jackson estate. This turn of events comes on the heels of the dispute the longtime music exec initiated over music royalties that had not been paid. A Los Angeles jury ruled in Jones’ favor, awarding the veteran producer $9.42 million ($9,423,695 to be exact) in damages.

According to Jones, he had been underpaid for music that was used in the This Is It! documentary, as well as two of the Cirque du Soleil shows that stemmed from it. Jones insisted that the royalties he received didn’t mirror what he was actually owed. Additionally, he also claimed that there was a breach of contract between him and Jackson’s estate.

Jones first sued the estate back in 2013 and although the jury was on his side this time around, they did not award Jones the entire $30 million he was initially seeking. Jones’ request reflected royalties and production fees from the use of such Michael Jackson classics like “Thriller” and “Billie Jean.”

“Although this judgement is not the full amount that I was seeking, I am very grateful that the jury decided in our favor in this matter,” Jones revealed in a statement. “I view it not only as a victory for myself personally, but for artists’ rights overall.”

The 84-year-old also added: “This lawsuit was never about Michael, it was about protecting the integrity of the work we all did in the recording studio and the legacy of what we created.”

On the flipside, the attorney for Jackson’s estate, Howard Weitzman, was all but pleased with the verdict. Jackson’s estate claimed that all they owed to Jones at best was an estimated $392,000. “With jury trials, that’s what happens, you get surprised,” the attorney said.

A more extensive statement released by both Weitzman and another Jackson estate attorney, Zia Modabber, was also released: “While the jury denied Quincy Jones $21 million – or more than two-thirds of what he demanded – from the estate of Michael Jackson, we still believe that giving him millions of dollars that he has no right to receive under his contracts is wrong.

“Any amount above and beyond what is called for in his contracts is too much and unfair to Michael’s heirs. Although Mr. Jones is portraying this is a victory for artists’ rights, the real artist is Michael Jackson and it is his money Mr. Jones is seeking.”

Jackson and Jones have worked together extensively before the former’s untimely death. Jones was behind the scenes and is credited on Jackson’s albums Off the Wall, Thriller, and Bad.

Photo Credit: PR Photos

Sheriden Chanel is a twenty-something writer, Beyoncé enthusiast, and lover of all things visual art. Keep up with her and her musings on social via @indiebyline.