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Michael Jackson's New Single Premieres at iHeartRadio Music Awards

"Love Never Felt So Good" originally recorded by Jackson in 1983

Michael Jackson
AFP/Getty Images
May 1, 2014 11:00 PM ET

UPDATE: Watch Usher assist on the new Michael Jackson single

Michael Jackson's new single "Love Never Felt So Good" will debut tonight during the first ever iHeartRadio Music Awards, which airs at 8 p.m. on NBC, according to a tweet from iHeartRadio.

What were the iHeartRadio Awards' 10 Best and Worst Moments?

The tweet also promised the performance would feature a "special guest," and odds are that it's Justin Timberlake, who posted to Instagram a photo of the single's cover art, which lists Jackson and himself as the song's artists.

If you can't wait until tonight, you can take a listen to Jackson's original demo of "Love Never Felt So Good," which was written in 1983 (Johnny Mathis recorded a version of the song in 1984). "Love Never Felt So Good" is one of eight cuts set to appear on Jackson's posthumous album, Xscape, which sees release on May 27th.

To compile the album, executive producer, L.A. Reid (who also serves as chairman and CEO of Epic Records) scoured four decades' worth of music in the Jackson estate vault, looking for songs with completed vocal tracks that he then handed off to a variety of producers to give them a "fresh, contemporary" sound. Timbaland acted as the album's lead producer, while other producers include Stargate, Jerome "Jroc" Harmon, John McClain and Rodney Jerkins (who worked on the original version of the title track, "Xscape," with Jackson). A deluxe edition of the album will also include the original versions of each song.

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Song Stories

“Try a Little Tenderness”

Otis Redding | 1966

This pop standard had been previously recorded by dozens of artists, including by Bing Crosby 33 years before Otis Redding, who usually wrote his own songs, cut it. It was actually Sam Cooke’s 1964 take, which Redding’s manager played for Otis, that inspired the initially reluctant singer to take on the song. Isaac Hayes, then working as Stax Records’ in-house producer, handled the arrangement, and Booker T. and the MG’s were the backing band. Redding’s soulful version begins quite slowly and tenderly itself before mounting into a rousing, almost religious “You’ve gotta hold her, squeeze her …” climax. “I did that damn song you told me to do,” Redding told his manager. “It’s a brand new song now.”

More Song Stories entries »
 
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