New MJ album to be released

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IOL Tonite si jackson Reuters Pop star Michael Jackson sings the 'Earth Song' during the World Music Awards ceremony at the Sporting Club in Monte Carlo in this May 8, 1996 file photo.

Five years after the death of the “King of Pop”, a posthumous Michael Jackson album due in May is set to thrill fans with eight previously unreleased songs, Epic Records announced on Monday.

The album, due for release on May 13, has been named “XSCAPE”, which is also one of the new tracks mined from Jackson's archives.

After gaining access to four decades of the late singer's material, Epic Records, a subsidiary of Sony, chose eight songs that featured completed vocal tracks by Jackson.

The record company then asked producers to “contemporize” the music while “retaining Jackson's essence and integrity”, it said in a statement.

Among the producers brought in to give a modern edge to the tracks were global hitmakers Timbaland, Rodney Jerkins, Stargate and John McClain.

A deluxe edition will include a selection of the recordings in their original form.

“Michael was always on the cutting edge and was constantly reaching out to new producers, looking for new sounds. He was always relevant and current. These tracks, in many ways, capture that spirit,” said John Branca and John McClain, co-executors of Jackson's estate.

Epic Records published its first posthumous Jackson album in 2010. “Michael” included nine previously unreleased songs, mostly drawn from the singer's final recording sessions. - Sapa-AFP

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