A song recorded by Michael Jackson and rapper Akon will be released and for sale on Monday for an album of new music from the King of Pop, his record label announced Thursday.
“Hold My Hand,” the duet between the pop star and rapper-producer, was first recorded in 2007. According to Sony/Epic Records, Akon recently completed producing the song and it will be globally released as the first official track from the album Michael which goes on sale December 14.
Rumors about the collaborative project first flurried in 2008, when the song was accidentally leaked on the internet.
“The world was not ready to hear ‘Hold My Hand’ when it leaked a couple years ago. We were devastated about it,” Akon said in a statement. “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”.
Executors of Jackson’s estate claim that there was handwritten note from Jackson that indicated he wanted “Hold My Hand” to be his first single.
Michael will be the first album of new material from the late singer since his release of Invincible in 2001. The album features other big name artists, like 50 Cent and Lenny Kravitz.
The release of this song is in addition to other commercial ventures that have been capitalizing from the singer’s popularity even after his untimely death. A Cirque du Soleil Show and a DVD compilation of all Jackson’s music videos are also in the works.