.

New Michael Jackson Single Features Akon

'Hold My Hand' had leaked in unfinished version in 2008

November 15, 2010 10:18 AM ET

"Hold My Hand," the first official single from Michael Jackson's forthcoming posthumous album Michael , premiered on the late singer's website early Monday morning. The song, a duet with Akon, was recorded in 2007 and leaked in an unfinished version the following year; Akon completed the song after Jackson's death in June 2009.

"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. I'm so proud to have had the chance to work with Michael, one of my all time idols."

Check Out All of Rolling Stone's coverage in "Michael Jackson Remembered"

"Anthemic" does indeed describe "Hold My Hand," with its soaring chorus characteristic of Akon hits like "Beautiful" and "Sorry, Blame It on Me." (Coincidentally — or not — the chorus also echoes the 1994 Hootie and the Blowfish hit that shares its title.) Jackson's vocal is restrained, but it does include a couple of his trademark grunts and whoops.

According to the statement, Jackson had indicated in a handwritten note that he wanted "Hold My Hand" to be the first single on his next project.

Last Monday, the first song from the album, "Breaking News", premiered on Jackson's website amid controversy over whether or not Jackson was actually singing on it. On Thursday, a lawyer for the singer's estate released a detailed statement asserting that Jackson did, in fact, provide the track's lead vocal, and that an unnamed musicologist, as well as previous Jackson collaborators, could vouch for its authenticity.

Michael: Single Announcement & Tracklisting [Michael Jackson's Official Site]

'Breaking News': Lawyer Says It's Michael Jackson's Voice [New York Times]

To read the new issue of Rolling Stone online, plus the entire RS archive: Click Here

prev
Music Main Next
Daily Newsletter

Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
marketing partners.

X

We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

Song Stories

“Vicious”

Lou Reed | 1972

Opening Lou Reed's 1972 solo album, the hard-riffing "Vicious" actually traces its origin back to Reed's days with the Velvet Underground. Picking up bits and pieces of songs from the people and places around him, and filing his notes for later use, Reed said it was Andy Warhol who provided fuel for the song. "He said, 'Why don't you write a song called 'Vicious,'" Reed told Rolling Stone in 1989. "And I said, 'What kind of vicious?' 'Oh, you know, vicious like I hit you with a flower.' And I wrote it down literally."

More Song Stories entries »
 
www.expandtheroom.com