Although the trials of Michael Jackson resulting from allegations of sexual abuse are thoroughly documented, the allegations made against him by an obscure Italian songwriter received relatively little publicity.
Al Bano had sued Jackson claiming "Will You Be There?" had been plagiarised from his composition "I Cigni Di Balaka
". The December 1999 issue of the British magazine The Songwriter
carried a report of this action, which after seven years resulted in vindication for the American artist when the Court of Appeals in Milan decided finally that the two songs were not the same. Previously, Rome magistrate Domenico Bonaccorsi had issued a thirteen page ruling to the effect that they were similar enough to warrant an injunction against the Jackson composition and album Dangerous
The songs are certainly very similar both melodically and in phrasing, but this is an old story, there are only a certain number of ways eight musical notes can be arranged (allowing for sharps and flats!), and it is hardly surprising that at times two writers on different sides of the Atlantic come up with similar compositions.
Alexander Baron - London, England