Michael Jackson and Paul McCartney

Ebony and Ivory Go to War

Although Michael Jackson and Paul McCartney initially had a good relationship, by the end of the 1980s, Michael Jackson and Paul McCartney's feud had reached epic proportions, and had become yet another one of Michael Jackson’s scandals in the tabloids. The duo first became acquainted when during the production of Michael’s album Off the Wall in 1979, which was produced by Quincy Jones. Songwriters for the album included Stevie Wonder and Paul McCartney, among others. Michael Jackson and Paul McCartney's music, which included hits such as Don’t Stop Til You Get Enough and Rock With You, had huge commercial success, selling over twenty million copies. Even after Michael Jackson’s death and the aftermath of his death, Michael Jackson and Paul McCartney's music remain some of Michael’s most popular works. Yet in the mid 1980s, Michael and Paul’s relationship greatly soured, leading to what became Michael Jackson and Paul McCartney's battle.

Michael Jackson and Paul McCartney's feud began when Michael Jackson became interested in buying the majority of the Lennon-McCartney composition from ATV Music.

Michael Jackson was interested in buying the rights to Beatles songs because of his interactions with Paul McCartney. Michael had actually learned that Paul McCartney owned the rights to other people’s music and made up to $40 million a year that way; Michael wanted to do that, too! Michael Jackson and Paul McCartney's battle escalated when Paul McCartney’s lawyer assured Michael’s lawyer that Paul would not be bidding on the rights for the ATV music because the music was too pricey. However, McCartney then changed his mind and tried to convince John Lennon’s widow, Yoko Ono, to bid on the music, with him, but Ono said no, and McCartney ended up not bidding. But by this point, Michael Jackson and Paul McCartney had a very bad relationship, and the media escalated this.

Ultimately, Michael Jackson won the rights to the majority of the Beatles music collection. The negotiations lasted 10 months. Michael spent a total of $47.5 million on the Beatles collection. Some speculate that this soothed him in the most turbulent of times; in the wake of Michael Jackson’s changing appearance, he needed something to make him feel better.