A new Michael Jackson album will be released in May, entitled Xscape and featuring eight unreleased recordings.
The posthumous album is scheduled for release worldwide on 13 May by Epic Records and will include material that has been reworked by producers such as Timbaland, Rodney Jerkins, Stargate, Jerome 'Jroc' Harmon and John McClain. It will be executive produced by Epic Records chairman and CEO LA Reid.
Reid was reportedly granted unlimited access to the four decades of Jackson's vocal only material. He then teamed up with the group of top producers to “contemporise” the songs. According to a statement, the combination of Jackson's material with revamped production adds a “fresh, contemporary sound that retains Jackson’s essence and integrity”.
“Michael left behind some musical performances that we take great pride in presenting through the vision of music producers that he either worked directly with or expressed strong desire to work with,” Reid said in a statement.
A deluxe edition of Xscape will also include a selection of original recordings. Both the standard and deluxe editions are available to pre-order 1 April on iTunes and other distributors.
The news follows a video post last year in which Timbaland said he was working on original music by the late artist. He had confirmed that a track entitled Chicago would be the first single released. In a 39-second video clip, the producer also said Epic's Reid had visited him to discuss the project, which he described as "two kings working together".
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The King of Pop's record label, Epic, have continually released Jackson material since his death in 2009. Alongside an anniversary reissue of Bad, remix album Immortal and several posthumous compilations of material Jackson recorded while signed to Motown, the most notable release has been This is It, which featured six previously unreleased recordings.
“Michael was always on the cutting edge and was constantly reaching out to new producers, looking for new sounds," said John Branca and John McClain, who are co-executors of Jackson's estate. "He was always relevant and current. These tracks, in many ways, capture that spirit.”