A new Kickstarter project has been launched by an international team of Michael Jackson fans, including two Australians, calling into question three songs released by Epic Records 18 months after the pop superstar’s death. The songs, “Breaking News,” “Monster,” and “Keep Your Head Up,” released in 2010 on the posthumous “Michael” album, sparked worldwide controversy after questions were raised regarding the authenticity of their lead vocals. Some members of Michael Jackson’s family, former collaborators, friends and fans claim that the songs do not feature Michael Jackson’s signature vocals, but those of a soundalike or vocal impersonator they allege was hired to deceptively sound like Jackson. The team of dedicated Jackson fans have launched their Kickstarter campaign, called “A Truth Untold”, to raise the funds required to complete their investigation and to publish their findings in a tell-all book to be released late next year. Sony Music acquired the three songs in question as part of a package deal with nine other tracks from Jackson’s longtime friend Eddie Cascio and his collaborative partner, James Porte. The pair claim that the songs, commonly referred to as the “Cascio tracks”, were recorded by Jackson in Cascio’s basement during a 2007 family visit. A Truth Untold, the world’s first crowd-funded Michael Jackson research project, takes a “legacy-first” approach to the King of Pop’s body of work, with compelling new insight into Michael Jackson’s creative process. “It reads as a fly-on-the-wall account through a series of events, including Michael Jackson’s final years in the recording studio, his tragic death, and the battles within his postmortem empire as these questionable songs came to surface,” says Australian contributor, Damien Shields. “We aim to deliver an objective and fascinating piece of investigative journalism with revealing and exclusive interviews, never-before-told stories, and accounts from people on both sides of the controversy,” he said. The team behind A Truth Untold says that they’re reaching out to other music lovers through the popular Kickstarter crowd-funding site because the scope of their investigation requires added resources. “Michael Jackson’s contributions to music and culture will be revered and studied for centuries to come. The group’s mission is to make sure that the information surrounding one of music’s biggest controversies is properly documented so that folks can draw their own educated conclusions,” said James Alay, one of the team’s U.S.-based contributors. Social media sites including Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube, have been instrumental in the success of the pre-launch campaign, allowing the A Truth Untold team to connect with their supporters all over the world, using the now-ubiquitous hashtag, #ATRUTHUNTOLD. “It’s truly a global effort, encompassing supporters from every continent and in every time zone. It really goes to show Michael Jackson’s tremendous global appeal, with fans coming out in droves to support our movement, even before we announced our Kickstarter campaign. We hope that the strong show of support translates to reaching our Kickstarter funding goals,” Alay said. “It is our hope that people from all walks of life, along with the Jackson family, The Michael Jackson Estate, record label, former collaborators and colleagues, friends and fans from all around the world will stand together and collectively raise their voices with us in our quest for the truth,” said Shields. Funds from a successfully funded campaign will be allocated towards the completion of research, including additional interviews and the retention of an independent forensic musicologist. “And as with all Kickstarter campaigns, funds will also be used to reward backers with our finished product, including both digital and print copies of the book. We’re also thrilled to unveil our incredible premium reward — a truly spectacular once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for fans to join not one, but two, of Michael Jackson’s former producers in a Los Angeles recording studio for unprecedented insight into The King of Pop’s legendary recording process,” Alay said. The Kickstarter campaign, A Truth Untold, is now live at www.atruthuntold.com ]]>
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