Michael Jackson planned to bequeath the Beatles catalogue to Paul McCartney, according to a January 2009 report from Spinner:
Michael Jackson reportedly plans to end his longstanding feud with Paul McCartney by leaving him the Beatles‘ back catalogue in his will. Jacko and Macca have been estranged since a falling out back in 1985, after Jackson beat out McCartney and Yoko Ono — widow of John Lennon — in a bidding war for the rights to 200 of Fab Four’s legendary songs.
Michael bought the catalogue for $45.7 million back in 1985. 2005 estimates put its value somewhere near $400 million. In 2006, Paul McCartney complained to an interviewer “You know what doesn’t feel very good, is going on tour and paying to sing all my songs. Every time I sing ‘Hey Jude,’ I’ve got to pay someone.”
Update: It remains to be seen whether Michael’s wishes will be carried out. We’re sceptical. Back when he was cash poor, Michael sold 50% of his 50% stake in the Sony/ATV music catalogue — which includes his music and the Beatles’ — to alternative investment firm Fortress Investment Group (FIG). The rest he put up as collateral for loans.
Here’s a video from the pair’s happy days: