Page last updated at 09:31 GMT, Tuesday, 13 October 2009 10:31 UK

'New' Jackson song penned in 1983


Michael Jackson's new song, This Is It, accompanied by video footage from the forthcoming movie of the same name. Courtesy Sony Music Entertainment

The "new" Michael Jackson track premiered on Monday was written in 1983 by the star and singer Paul Anka, it has emerged.

Few details about This Is It - the first track to emerge since Jackson's death - were originally released.

But later on Monday, the Jackson estate confirmed Anka had co-written the song - originally called I Never Heard - after he had threatened legal action.

A version of the song was recorded by Puerto Rican singer Safire in 1991.

I don't think that anybody tried to do the wrong thing - it was an honest mistake
Paul Anka

Jackson and Anka wrote the track for possible inclusion on the latter's 1983 album Walk A Fine Line.

Anka told celebrity website TMZ that Jackson then "stole the tapes" from his studio.

Anka, 68, told the Associate Press news agency that, after he complained that he had not been credited, Jackson's estate moved quickly to acknowledge his involvement and promised him 50% of the song's profits.

"They did the right thing," he said.

"I don't think that anybody tried to do the wrong thing - it was an honest mistake."

Michael Jackson

The new This Is It recording - released to radio stations and on the singer's website - features backing vocals by Jackson's brothers.

The song takes its name from the ill-fated series of comeback shows that were to have taken place at London's O2 arena.

The Jackson estate, in a statement acknowledging Anka as co-writer, said: "The song was picked because the lyrics were appropriate because of the name Michael gave his tour.

"We are thrilled to present this song in Michael's voice for the first time and that Michael's fans have responded in unprecedented numbers."

Anka, who had UK hits in the 1950s with songs including Diana and Lonely Boy, also wrote hits including She's A Lady by Tom Jones and wrote the lyrics to Frank Sinatra's My Way.

The song This Is It will be the only original track on a double CD of the same name due for released on 26 October.

It will also feature in the closing credits of a film, also called This Is It, which has been made using footage of rehearsals for the O2 concerts, due to be released in cinemas on 28 October.

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