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Michael Jackson did not sing Islamic song that allegedly put Saudi Arabia in debt

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Claim: A viral video claims the late King of Pop, Michael Jackson, had sung a song titled “waiting for the call” in which he stated that he is waiting for the call of Allah to perform Hajj among his ‘Muslim brothers,’ with further claims that it was purchased by Saudi Arabia by paying off debts accrued during the production and the song is now being used for Hajj operations.

The song in the widely circulated video was sung by Irfan Makki, a Pakistani-Canadian singer with a silky, soothing voice that could pass for Michael Jackson’s, and not by Michael Jackson. Therefore, claims that Michael Jackson sang the song before his death which was later purchased by Saudi Arabia is FALSE.

Full Text

The video was shared mostly on WhatsApp with the following caption, “Michael Jackson an American artist completed this song b4 his death which never get released. Then Saudi Arabia purchased this song on the occasion of Hajj by paying all the debts accumulated on its production and bought its copy rights. It is about Kaaba, Black stone,  Safa/Marwa, Zam Zam water, throwing of pebbles, and all about other Hajj rituals.  Pls listen and enjoy the song. It is an amazing performance (sic).”

Part of the song’s lyrics reads:

“Miles away, oceans apart…When the day will come, Standing there before you, Accept this Hajj of mine, Standing in ihram, making my tawaf, Drinking blessings from your well, the challenges that I have suffered Rekindles my imaan

O Allah! I am waiting for the call, praying for the day when I can be near the Kabah wall, O Allah! I am waiting for the call, praying for the day when I can be near Your Kabah wall,”

Michael Joseph Jackson was an American singer, songwriter, and dancer who was dubbed the “King of Pop.” He was and still is regarded as one of the most significant cultural figures of the 20th century. Over a four-decade career, his contributions to music, dance and fashion, along with his publicized personal life, made him a global figure in popular culture. He influenced artists across many genres, and through stage and video performances, popularizing complicated dance moves such as the moonwalk, to which he gave the name, and the robot. He is the most awarded music artist in history.

He died on 25th June, 2009.

Verification

A simple online search of the term “who sang waiting for the call” turned up the name Irfan Makki, a Pakistani-Canadian singer with a silky, soothing voice that could pass for Michael Jackson’s. Makki has a music album with 13 tracks titled “I Believe”, featuring the Swedish-Lebanese musician Maher Zain.

Several other links point to the same singer with the same song, same lyrics and Makki’s name featuring as the singer on several websites where it was uploaded including on dezeer – a French online music streaming service which allows users to listen to music content from record labels.

It was also found on Universal Music Group, Sony Music and Warner Music Group as well as podcasts on various devices online or offline – and on Amazon Music, therefore, establishing that the song was actually sung by Makki and not Michael Jackson.

According to business insider, Michael Jackson was reportedly at least $400 million in debt when he died unexpectedly in 2009 but his estate has resolved the financial issues and Michael has been the top-earning dead celebrity since 2012. While most of his debts were reportedly due to numerous expensive lawsuits, properties and jewelries, there was nowhere it was reported that Jackson accumulated debts on the production of any song which may have prompted Saudi Arabia to offset after his death.

A further online search of the key words “Michael Jackson Saudi Arabia” and “Saudi Arabia Waiting for the call,” among alternate keywords did not reveal any reasonable news item that validates the claim.

Conclusion

Claims that late pop star, Michael Jackson, sang an Islamic song before his death, accumulated debts during production of the song which are now being paid off by Saudi Authorities with proceeds from the song that is now being used during annual pilgrimage to Medina is FALSE. 

The researcher produced this fact-check per the Dubawa 2021 Kwame KariKari Fellowship partnership with prnigeria to facilitate the ethos of “truth” in journalism and enhance media literacy in the country.

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