Breaking News (Michael Jackson song)

"Breaking News (song)" redirects here. For the song by Shinee, see Breaking News (Shinee song).
"Breaking News"
Promotional single by Michael Jackson from the album Michael
Released November 8, 2010
Format digital download
Recorded 2007 (basic tracks)
2010 (Additional overdubs & mixing)
Genre R&B
Length 4:14
Label Epic
Writer(s) Michael Jackson, Eddie Cascio, James Porte
Producer(s) Michael Jackson, Teddy Riley, Eddie Cascio
Michael track listing

"Best of Joy"
"Breaking News"
"(I Can't Make It) Another Day"

"Breaking News" is a song by American recording artist Michael Jackson. The song was written by Jackson, Eddie Cascio and James Porte, produced by Teddy Riley, Cascio and Jackson, and was included on his posthumous album, Michael. The R&B song talks about the media wanting a piece of the pop star, which drew comparisons to Britney Spears' "Piece of Me" (2007). An instrumental snippet "Breaking News" was unveiled in a promotional video which features a montage of various TV journalists reporting breaking news about Jackson, and refers to the tabloid stories and legal troubles that plagued Jackson in the years leading up to his death. Since the release of the song on November 8, 2010, it has become controversial with regard to its authenticity. "Breaking News" achieved minor success, peaking at number one on Billboard Bubbling Under Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs.


"Breaking News" was written by Jackson, Eddie Cascio and James Porte, and produced by Teddy Riley, Cascio and Jackson. The song was released by Sony Music Entertainment to precede the announcement of Michael.[1] On November 5, 2010, a video "teaser" for "Breaking News" was made available on Jackson's official website. The video opens with a montage of various TV journalists reporting breaking news about Jackson. The musical introduction follows, ending before the vocals start.[2][3] The video refers to the tabloid stories and legal troubles that plagued Jackson in the years leading up to his death.[2][4] Three days later the full length version of the song appeared on Jackson's website[5] and was subsequently played on some radio stations.[6][7] The song was included on the posthumous album, Michael (2010).[2]


"Breaking News"
A twenty-four second sample of Jackson's song "Breaking News".

Problems playing this file? See media help.

"Breaking News" was recorded by Michael Jackson in New Jersey in 2007 when Jackson was living with the Cascio family. Other tracks recorded during that time include "Monster" and "Keep Your Head Up", which were also included on Michael.[8] The song delivers Jackson’s now-requisite anti-tabloid screed, albeit with satisfyingly melodic gall.[9] Jackson also refers to himself by name in several lines.[10] Elena Gorgan of Softpedia compared the song to "Piece of Me" (2007) by Britney Spears.[11]

Critical reception

"Breaking News" received mainly negative reviews from music critics. Terri Thomas, program director of radio station KJLH said, although "people miss Jackson," the song is "hard to compete with his classics and legacy".[6] Skip Dillard of WBLS mentioned, "listeners overall seemed to think that "Breaking News" sounds 'unfinished' and is not a representation of the level of perfection that Michael sought in his music."[6] Ashante Infantry of Toronto Star said "Breaking News" "threatens to diminish the posthumous goodwill afforded the pop star," and "is a self-referential rehash that spotlights all that was wrong with Mike. If Michael is similarly disappointing, Jackson’s label and executors will find a limit to these "Breaking News" lyrics – “No matter what, you just want to read it again/No matter what, you just want to feed it again.”"[10] Darryl Sterdan from QMI Agency said, "the vocals on the verses of the self-referential "Breaking News" seem artificial, as if they were recorded for a different song and heavily manipulated to readjust their pitch and tempo, then buried under layers of overdubs."[12] A review by The Christian Science Monitor' said, "[the] new Michael Jackson song prompts more controversy, fans were divided, with many loving the new single and others expressing scepticism." [13] Cameron Adams of Herald Sun said the song "would have no doubt stayed unreleased", if Jackson hadn't died.[14] Joe Vogel, author of the book Man in the Music: The Creative Life and Work of Michael Jackson, gave the song a positive review, saying, "in spite of the backlash, the content of the song is classic Michael Jackson." [15]

Controversy over authenticity

The authenticity of "Breaking News", as with other songs allegedly written with Cascio and Porte (like: "All I Need", "All Right", "Black Widow", "Burn Tonight", "Fall In Love", "Soldier Boy", "Ready 2 Win", "Stay" and "Water"), was questioned by Jackson's mother Katherine[16] as well his sister La Toya,[17] and his nephews T.J., Taj, and Taryll,[18] in addition to many of his fans, who will pass on the album and future projects until this is rectified.[19][20] AFP reported that it was immediately clouded by questions over whether it was really the singer's voice.[21] Reuters reported that the song was "sparking a new round of controversy over whether the voice is really that of the dead 'Thriller' singer".[22] In a statement, Sony Music Group countered that it had "complete confidence in the results of our extensive research, as well as the accounts of those who were in the studio with Michael, that the vocals on the new album are his own."[23]

On November 11, 2010, Michael Jackson Estate issued a report: "six of Michael’s former producers and engineers who had worked with Michael over the past 30 years — Bruce Swedien, Matt Forger, Stewart Brawley, Michael Prince, Dr. Freeze and Teddy Riley all confirmed that the vocal was definitely Michael." Sony claim two forensic musicologists were hired by Jackson Estate and Epic to perform a waveform analysis on the vocals but no proof of this occurrence has been issued. Bruce Swedien, Matt Forger, Stewart Brawley, son Prince Michael and Dr. Freeze claimed that they never believed that these vocals were sung by Michael himself. Teddy Riley apologized later on MySpace to a fan, saying it was a mistake to be part of this project. Jason Malachi, who has been noted as the possible vocalist of this song, said he was not involved in the recording.[24] On January 16, 2011, a statement appeared on Jason's Facebook to confess that he had sung songs on the album.[25] He later claimed that his website, Myspace and Facebook had been hacked. After 2 hours, his manager Thad Nauden claimed to TMZ that "someone created a phony Facebook page in Jason's name" and "Jason wants everyone to know beyond a shadow of a doubt ... he did not sing a single note on the album. "[26]


Chart performance

The song received instant airplay on numerous radio stations on the debut day, as 151 U.S. stations sampled "Breaking News" that day on several formats, from pop and R&B to adult and oldies. A total of 246 plays were recorded on that day, reaching an estimated 2.2 million listeners.[6] Additionally it logged 1.1 million impressions on 52 R&B/Hip-Hop stations after two days of airplay, according to Nielsen BDS. Among all stations monitored by BDS, the song registered 302 plays on 177 stations, amounting to an audience of 2.6 million, since its arrival on November 8, 2010.[27] Drawing a mixed reaction from radio programmers,[28] "Breaking News" bubbled under the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart at number one after two days of radio airplay.[27] The song remained on the chart for only one week.[29]

Chart (2010) Peak
U.S. Billboard Bubbling Under R&B/Hip-Hop Singles[30] 1

See also


  1. "New Michael Jackson Song "Breaking News"". Michael Jackson Official Website. Retrieved 2010-11-05.
  2. 1 2 3 "Breaking News - Michael Jackson". AOL Radio Blog. 2010-11-08. Retrieved 2010-11-08.
  3. Wilkening, Matthew (2010-11-05). "Michael Jackson, 'Michael' -- 2010 New Album Preview". AOL Radio Blog. Retrieved 2010-11-05.
  4. Vick, Megan (2010-11-05). "Michael Jackson 'Breaking News' Teaser Video Premieres". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved 2010-11-06.
  5. Kaufman, Gil. "New Michael Jackson Album, Michael, Due Next Month". MTV. MTV Networks. Retrieved 2010-11-05.
  6. 1 2 3 4 "New Michael Jackson Song 'Breaking' At Radio". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved 2010-11-10.
  7. "New Michael Jackson Song Embraced By Radio". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. 2010-11-09. Retrieved 2010-11-14.
  8. "Michael Jackson's New Album Out Dec. 14". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved 2010-11-05.
  9. Greenblatt, Leah (December 8, 2010). "Music Review: Michael". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved December 9, 2010.
  10. 1 2 Infantry, Ashante (2010-11-08). "Review: Michael Jackson's new single is bad news". Toronto Star. Star Media Group. Retrieved 2010-11-17.
  11. Gorgan, Elena (2010-11-09). "Vocals on Michael Jackson's 'Breaking News' Song Are Not Michael Jackson's". Softpedia. Retrieved 2011-02-26.
  12. Sterdan, Darryl. "Review: New MJ tunes bad news". Quebecor Media. Retrieved 2010-11-10.
  13. "New Michael Jackson song prompts more controversy". The Christian Science Monitor. Retrieved 2010-11-10.
  14. Adams, Cameron. "First review of new Michael Jackson single Breaking News". Herald Sun. The Herald and Weekly Times. Retrieved 2010-11-15.
  15. Vogel, Joe (2010-12-06). "Is Michael Really Michael? A Review of the King of Pop's New Album". Huffington Post. Retrieved 2010-12-10.
  16. "Michael Jackson News - Yahoo! Music". 2010-11-03. Retrieved 2010-11-09.
  17. "La Toya Jackson: That's Not Michael's Voice on 'Breaking News'". Retrieved 2010-11-09.
  18. Kennedy, Gerrick D. (2010-11-08). "Controversial Michael Jackson single debuts". Seattle Times. Retrieved 2010-11-09.
  19. "Fans, Family Say Michael Jackson Isn't Singing On Controversial New Single "Breaking News"". All Headline News. Retrieved 2010-11-09.
  20. "New Song: Michael Jackson, 'Breaking News'". MTV. MTV Networks. Retrieved 2010-11-09.
  21. "Michael Jackson single goes online, but is it him?". Agence France-Presse. Google News. 2010-11-08. Retrieved 2010-11-15.
  22. Serjeant, Jill (2010-11-09). "New Michael Jackson single prompts more controversy". Reuters. Retrieved 2010-11-16.
  23. "Michael Jackson 'Breaking News' Song Debuts Online, Stirs Controversy". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved 2010-11-09.
  24. Sisario, Ben (2010-11-11). "'Breaking News': Lawyer Says It's Michael Jackson's Voice". Arts Beat. Retrieved 2010-11-11.
  25. "MJ Soundalike -- I Sung Songs on New 'Michael' Album". January 16, 2011. Retrieved January 17, 2011.
  26. "MJ Soundalike -- That's Not My Facebook Page!". January 16, 2011. Retrieved January 17, 2011.
  27. 1 2 "Weekly Chart Notes: Rihanna, Mariah Carey, Michael Jackson". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media.
  28. Christman, Ed (2010-11-16). "Why Michael Jackson's New Album Could Debut Stronger Than 'This Is It'". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved 2010-11-16.
  29. Trust, Gary (2010-11-18). "Weekly Chart Notes: 'Glee,' Black Eyed Peas, Susan Boyle". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved 2010-11-19.
  30. "Michael Jackson Album & Song Chart History". Billboard. Bubbling Under R&B/Hip-Hop Singles for Michael Jackson. Retrieved 24 May 2014.

External links

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