A duet Michael Jackson recorded with rapper Akon called "Hold My Hand", the first single from a new album from King of Pop after his 2009 death, was released on Monday.
The track was made in 2007 and Jackson had said in a handwritten note that he wanted it to be the first single on his next project. An unfinished version of "Hold My Hand" was leaked online in 2008 but Akon recently completed production on the song.
"The world was not ready to hear 'Hold My Hand' when it leaked a couple years ago," Akon said in a statement carried by Jackson's official website. "We were devastated about it. But its time has definitely come. Now in its final state, it has become an incredible, beautiful, anthemic song. I'm so proud to have had the chance to work with Michael, one of my all time idols."
"Breaking News", another song off the album, "Michael", was posted online last week. Several people, including Jackson's nephews TJ and Taryll, have said the track is "fake." . But the Sony record company has said says the vocals on the new album were provided by the singe.
Jackson died at age 50 on June 25, 2009 in his Los Angeles home from an overdose of the anesthetic propofol and two other sedatives that were prescribed and administered by Conrad Murray, who has pleaded not guilty to his charge of involuntary manslaughter.
The album cover for "Michael" was created by Kadir Nelson and is based on his 2009 oil painting, which "takes us on a journey through some key moments and important people in Michael Jackson's life," according to the singer's website.
Jackson's music videos are also set to be released in a boxed DVD set on November 22. The collection, called "Michael Jackson's Vision", will include an unreleased clip of his 2003 single "One More Chance", penned by R. Kelly.
The set retails for $39.98 and contains more than four hours of footage and 40 music videos, including "Thriller", "Heal the World", "Black and White", featuring actor Macaulay Culkin, and "Bad", which was directed by Martin Scorcese. Clips of Jackson performing with his brothers in The Jackson Five are also included.
Meanwhile, the track listing for Jackson's new album, "Michael", due for release on December 14, has been confirmed officially. Check it out below:
1. "Hold My Hand" (Duet with Akon)
2. "Hollywood Tonight"
3. "Keep Your Head Up"
4. "(I Like) The Way You Love Me"
5. "Monster"(Featuring 50 Cent)
6. "Best Of Joy"
7. "Breaking News"
8. "(I Can't Make It) Another Day" (Featuring Lenny Kravitz)
9. "Behind The Mask"
10. "Much Too Soon"
Check out Michael Jackson's new song with Akon, "Hold My Hand":