Early Friday morning, Michael Jackson’s website released the tracklisting for Michael, the first album to be released after the pop icon’s June 2009 death. The album, which hits stores December 14, will be teased by the single “Hold My Hand,” a collaboration with the “Smack That” singer Akon.
“Hold My Hand” was recorded in 2007, and an unfinished version of the song appeared online in the summer of 2008. According to a statement accompanying the posting of the tracklist, Jackson wrote a note saying that he wanted “Hold My Hand” to be the first single from the project he was working on before his death.
“The world was not ready to hear ‘Hold My Hand’ when it leaked a couple years ago,” Akon, who completed production of the track in time for Michael‘s release, said in the label’s 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.”
“Hold My Hand” will be available online beginning at 12:01 a.m. ET on Monday, November 15. The 10-track Michael also contains collaborations with 50 Cent (“Monster”) and Lenny Kravitz (“[I Can’t Make It] Another Day”).
Another song from Michael, “Breaking News,” was released earlier this week; the jittery, press-hostile track was greeted by some controversy about whether or not Jackson was actually singing on it. On Thursday, a lawyer for Jackson’s estate released a statement asserting that Jackson did, in fact, provide the track’s lead vocal, and that an unnamed person who is “one of the best-known forensic musicologists in the nation,” as well as Jackson collaborators like Teddy Riley and Elliot “Dr. Freeze” Straite, could vouch for the track’s authenticity.
The complete track listing for Michael:
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