Michael Jackson’s highly-anticipated posthumous album will feature Justin Timberlake and Mary J. Blige.
The previously unreleased music was pieced together from various recording sessions before the superstar died in June 2009, according to Aaron Reid from Epic Records. He claims the King of Pop was hesitant to finish or release any of the tracks.
“Michael Jackson didn’t trust anyone with his music He stopped finishing songs,” Aaron told New York Post’s Page Six. “He had a whole bunch of material stored away. He had hooks. He had versus. Then we put it together.”
The studio recording is called Xscape and will have eight never-before-heard tracks that will include vocal backings from Justin and Mary. Singers Questlove and D’Angelo have also contributed to the album, which is due to hit stores on May 13.
Some have questioned the decision to make the songs public so long after Michael’s passing, but Aaron has dismissed the doubters.
“[Making this was] an amazing process. Michael Jackson is my favourite artist of all time,” he enthused. “With this project, I got to carry on his legacy and even to contribute to it. There’s nothing like it.”
The project was compiled by Aaron’s father, Epic Records Chairman and CEO L.A. Reid, who was given access to four decades of the singer’s previous material.
“Modern music and artistry would look and sound completely different if not for the groundbreaking contributions Michael Jackson gifted to the world,” L.A. said earlier this year.
The executive teamed up with producers Timbaland, Rodney Jerkins, Stargate, Jerome ‘Jroc’ Harmon and John McClain to “contemporise” the songs. He calls the compilation “the best music you’ve never heard”.
“Michael left behind some musical performances that we take great pride in presenting through the vision of music producers that he either worked directly with or expressed strong desire to work with,” he added. “We are extremely proud and honoured to present this music to the world.”
The first single off the album, Love Never Felt So Good, drops on Thursday.