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From showbiz reporter Kevin Hughes
The new Michael Jackson album “Michael” is finally released this Monday.
The album features 10 previously unreleased recordings, including the Akon collaboration "Hold my Hand" which is Top 10 on the Big Top 40. Most of the tracks on the album were recorded by Michael in the last decade and one track “Best of Joy,” was rumoured to have appeared in the planned comeback show, This Is It, at the 02.
Michael’s long-term producer and friend Teddy Riley is one of the executive producers on the album and spoke to us about the album prodcution as well as the recent controversy over the legitimacy of the album vocals.
Teddy completed production on three tracks on the album; “ Hollywood Tonight” “Monster” and “Breaking News.” He told us “The vocals are 150% MJ’s. There’s no question. It’s been tough hearing this criticism from both the Jackson family and fans. But I know the whole truth as to why this is happening, through the family....I’m trying to speak on something only we the professionals, the people that worked with him for the past 25 years, know to be true. I don’t care I’ll go up against anybody as I know the truth… ”
Highlights on the new album include “ Another Day,” which features Lenny Kravitz and Dave Grohl of the Foo Fighters on drums and “Monster,” which features a rap by 50 Cent.
But there are also tracks recorded by the late King of Pop in the 1980s, like “ Behind the Mask” and “Much Too Soon,” which will keep older fans happy.
But how does Teddy Riley respond to recent comments from Black Eyed Peas star will.i.am, that any unreleased material should stay on the shelf? Teddy told us “will.i.am made a statement that he shouldn’t have made and I hope that he retracts it as doesn’t make him look good. I’m not sure he even has any Michael vocals in the can, which means he can’t be a part of this project. I don’t see any other reason as to why he would say that?”
So why should music fans buy the new Michael album. Teddy Riley said “It is art. It’s a collector’s item and it’s an incredible, happy and positive album. It just feels so good to hear Michael’s voice and you’re getting the true Michael. Trust me, it is the real Michael Jackson so go on and enjoy the album.”
Listen to Kevin’s exclusive interview with Teddy Riley