Recorded three years ago with hip hop artist Akon, Michael Jackson’s single “Hold My Hand” hit airwaves and is available to download. It was the legendary pop singer’s wish, reportedly documented in a note before his death, that “Hold My Hand” be the official single off of his latest album.
Akon, who was also involved in the songwriting and producing process, said in a statement released by Sony, “The world was not ready to hear ‘Hold My Hand’ when it leaked a couple years ago. We were devastated about it.”
He adds, “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.” Akon had previously collaborated with Jackson for a remix of “Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin.’”
“In 2007, I co-wrote a song called ‘Hold My Hand’ with Akon,” songwriter Claude Kelly said on his Tumblr blog Friday. “A good friend and dope engineer, Exit Goodchild, made it sound like magic. My idol, Michael Jackson, recorded it and made one of my lifelong dreams come true. It was slated to come out. … What happened next the whole world knows. It’s now 2010, and although the circumstances are bittersweet, I am still honored and proud that ‘Hold My Hand’ will have its day in the sun. Grateful.”
Along with Akon, The King of Pop also has recorded collaborations with Lenny Kravitz, Will.i.am and 50 Cent on his new album, which is a collection of Michael’s previously unleased recordings.
The album, however, hasn’t been received well by Michael’s immediate family, who doubt it is even Michael who is singing on the tracks. They question the authenticity of the songs and believe Michael’s wishes should be honored, which were to keep these unfinished and incomplete tracks private.
According to ABC News, “Teddy Riley, the producer of “Michael” who also produced Jackson’s ‘Dangerous,’ ‘History’ and ‘Invicible’ albums, insisted Jackson’s voice deserves to be heard and the tracks are indeed authentic.” The “Michael” album will be available Dec. 14.