Drake vs. Paul Anka was not the celebrity feud we expected from 2019.
But Drake has cut his song that features a previously-unreleased 1983 Michael Jackson track from his current European tour. That song was co-written by Anka, and Drake's decision to axe it has apparently inspired the ire of the legendary 77-year-old Canadian musician, who told ET Canada that Drake should "respect his elders." The world is weird and here we are.
The British newspaper The Independent reported on Monday that the rapper didn't perform either "Don't Matter To Me," which includes the Jackson verse, or his cover of Jackson's 1979 hit "Rock With You" on the first show of his tour in Manchester the night before. Both songs had been included on the setlist of Drake's North American tour with Migos last fall. And "Don't Matter to Me" is actually a bigger success in the U.K. than it was here: it debuted at number two on the U.K. charts.
We've reached out to Drake's representatives and will update the story if they respond. Thus far, they haven't spoken to any other outlets.
Drake's Jackson-related decision has drawn criticism from Anka, who co-wrote the unreleased 1983 song Drake draws from and who worked with the rapper on "Don't Matter to Me."
"I have nothing really to say about Drake other than [that] he should respect his elders, and he didn't keep his promises with me," Anka told ET Canada. He went onto say Drake knows what he's talking about, and "so do his people around him."
HuffPost Canada has reached out to Anka to clarify those very mysterious comments. Welcome to 2019, everybody!
More from HuffPost Canada:
When Drake released his album "Scorpion" last summer, there were mixed reactions to his decision to include a previously-unreleased Michael Jackson verse on the song "Don't Matter to Me." The Guardian's review of the album praised his isolation of Jackson's vocals for emphasizing "the overlooked eeriness of his voice."
But many other outlets said the fact of Jackson's presence overshadowed any of the song's artistic merits — NME called it "a clear-cut power move, rather than artistic posthumous collaboration," and Pitchfork said it was "a preposterous flex."
The public conversation about Jackson has changed dramatically since then. Following the release of the documentary "Leaving Neverland" in late January, Jackson has been banned from some radio stations in Canada and internationally, his episode of "The Simpsons" was pulled from circulation, and famous friends including Corey Feldman have pulled their support of the late singer.
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