Just hours after the release of the new Michael Jackson single "This Is It" Monday, Paul Anka established his right to co-author credit on the song. Turns out the tune -- then titled "I Never Heard" -- was penned by Anka and Jackson back in 1983 when they were working together on songs for a new Anka album. As Reuters reports, "Both 'I Never Heard' and 'This Is It' share the same vocal and piano line, although the latter track boasts new overdubs from Jackson's brothers."
Paul Anka could be in for quite a payday now that he owns half of the copyright in "This Is It." But will it finally win the veteran singer-songwriter a Grammy Award? Though Paul Anka enjoyed a string of hits in the early years of the Grammys, he has never contended for any of the major awards. He was snubbed even for his 1969 English language lyrics for "My Way" -- a signature song for then Grammy favorite Frank Sinatra.
Critical response to "This Is It" has been mixed at best. Jon Pareles of the New York Times said: "No funk here: it’s the posthumous, all-sweetness-and-light Jackson that his family is determined to sell. But at least he sounds human, especially at the end, where he lets the vocal line take a few tentative leaps." Greg Kot of the Chicago Tribune said, "Jackson cycles through a verse, pre-chorus and chorus several times during the track's 3:46 duration but never really develops any of the initial ideas." And for Ann Powers of the Los Angeles Times, "His high tenor billows and crests, but never breaks; this is ecstasy without resolution. It feels great, but unfinished. It simultaneously makes you want it to keep going and to become something else, something more."Photo: Poster for "This Is It" film. Credit: Sony Pictures / AFP / Getty Images