NEW YORK (Billboard) - Following the premiere of a controversial new Michael Jackson song, “Breaking News,” earlier this week, it was announced Friday that the lead single from the late King of Pop’s upcoming “Michael” album will be “Hold My Hand,” a duet with Akon.
The song is slated to debut as a stream on michaeljackson.com on November 15.
Written by Akon, “Hold My Hand” was recorded by the Senegalese singer/rapper and Jackson in Las Vegas in 2007. An unfinished version of the song leaked in 2008, but Akon completed the final production of the track after Jackson’s death.
“The world was not ready to hear ‘Hold My Hand’ when it leaked a couple years ago,” Akon said in a statement. “We were devastated about it. But its time has definitely come.
“Now in its final state, it has become an incredible, beautiful, anthemic song,” continued Akon. “I’m so proud to have had the chance to work with Michael, one of my all-time idols.”
According to the release, it was Jackson himself who wanted “Hold My Hand” to be the first single on his next project, as expressed in a handwritten letter that is now in the hands of his estate.
Akon’s contribution to “Michael” is not the album’s only collaboration. The tracklist reveals that Lenny Kravitz is featured on the song “(I Can’t Make It) Another Day,” while 50 Cent makes an appearance on “Monster.”
The tracks on “Michael” were co-produced by Jackson and culled mostly from material recorded in three years leading up the singer’s untimely death in 2009.
The first album of original material from Michael Jackson in nine years, “Michael” will be released December 14 on Epic.
Here is the album’s tracklist: “Hold My Hand” (Featuring Akon), “Hollywood Tonight,” “Keep Your Head Up,” “(I Like) The Way You Love Me,” “Monster” (Featuring 50 Cent), “Best of Joy,”
“Breaking News,” “(I Can’t Make It) Another Day” (Featuring Lenny Kravitz), “Behind the Mask” and “Much Too Soon.”
Editing by Zorianna Kit