After announcing that a new Michael Jackson record would be released on December 14, Sony Records has now unveiled the tracklisting for the King of Pop’s posthumous LP Michael. The album will feature guest spots from Akon, 50 Cent, and Lenny Kravitz, with the first single “Hold My Hand” (a duet with Akon) premiering on Monday. Check out the tracklisting below.
Akon’s duet with Jackson isn’t totally new: an unfinished version of the song leaked online in 2008, which you can hear below. But Akon has since re-worked the track for Michael. “It has become a beautiful, anthemic song,” Akon said in a statement.
Earlier this week, Sony previewed the track “Breaking News” online. The song, recorded by Jackson with producer Michael Cascio in 2007, sparked immediate speculation from fans that it was not Jackson singing on the track. (His trademark hollering sounds suspiciously thin.) But the King of Pop’s estate insists the performance is authentic, Entertainment Weekly reports.
The estate’s lawyer, Howard Weitzman, says past Jackson producers and engineers (including Bruce Swedien and Teddy Riley) were all invited to a listening session and confirmed Jackson’s vocals were authentic. Jackson’s estate also retained a top forensic musicologist for vocal analysis and confirmed the vocals were real.
In a letter, Weitzman writes, “Sony decided that, given the overwhelming objective evidence resulting from the exhaustive investigations outlined above, they wanted to release a record…because they believed, without reservation, that the lead vocal on all of those tracks were sung by Michael Jackson.”
Do you think “Breaking News” features Jackson’s vocals or an impersonator? Judge for yourself in the clip below and hit us in the comments.
“Hold My Hand” (Duet with Akon)
“Keep Your Head Up”
“(I Like) The Way You Love Me”
“Monster” (Featuring 50 Cent)
“Best Of Joy”
“(I Can’t Make It) Another Day” (Featuring Lenny Kravitz)
“Behind The Mask”
“Much Too Soon”
Michael Jackson featuring Akon, “Hold My Hand”