Michael Jackson and Eminem are two of the music world’s biggest icons, hence many fans were shocked to learn that the King of Pop once bought the rights to the Detroit rapper’s music catalog.
Michael Jackson and Eminem’s music catalogs are worth millions. The two artists have both left a big mark on the music industry, so much so that fans still listen to their songs despite all the newer music available now.
In the 2000s, Eminem and MJ locked horns. He fired some shots at Michael in his 2004 song, Just Lose It, and that really upset the King of Pop, who branded the track and video as ‘disrespectful’.
Three years after that, the celebrities made headlines together once again. This time, it was because Michael bought the rights to Eminem’s catalog.
Michael Jackson bought Eminem’s music catalog
MJ became the owner of Eminem’s back catalog in 2007. This happened after the singer‘s partnership company Sony/ATV bought the company that owned the rapper’s music – Famous Music – for a whopping $370 million.
At the time, Famous Music was a subsidiary of Viacom. Eminem was among multiple musicians whose catalog rights got passed over to Michael’s partner company. The others were Bjork, Shakira and Beck.
Michael became the owner of Eminem’s music in 2007, three years after the rapper released a song that MJ viewed as “disrespectful”.
This wasn’t the only catalog he purchased. In 1985, Michael shocked many fans by buying the rights to The Beatles‘ entire back catalogue. He outbid Sir Paul McCartney, the former Beatles band member for the same.
MJ hit back at Eminem’s ‘disrespectful’ diss in music video
Some lyrics and the music video of Eminem’s Just Lose It ended up upsetting Michael.
The Thriller singer found Eminem dressing up as him and donning fake plastic surgery “disrespectful.” Eminem also imitated the 1984 incident when Michael’s hair caught on fire while filming a Pepsi advert.
Responding to Eminem’s music video, Michael said in an interview with a Los Angeles radio station “I’ve admired Eminem as an artist, and was shocked by this.”
“The video was inappropriate and disrespectful to me, my children, my family and the community at large,” the “King of Pop” said.
In another interview, he said: “I’ve never met Mr Eminem, and to have – I’ve always admired him – and to have him do something like that has been pretty painful.”
He reportedly even called for the song to be taken down.
Did Eminem get his music catalog back?
Michael continued to own the rights to Eminem’s music until his death in 2009. Boss Hunting notes Eminem bought his publishing rights back in 2016, seven years after Michael’s passing.
Despite having the rights to Eminem’s music, Michael never changed the lyrics of Just Lose It.