Home Music Michael Jackson Album Gets Lenny Kravitz, But No Will.I.Am

The Michael Jackson album of unreleased songs, called “Michael,” has an unexpected surprise: a Lenny Kravitz produced track.

Kravitz and Jackson worked on a few songs together. But the one called “Another Day,” is a killer. Kravitz sings and plays guitar on it. But “Another Day,” like all of the “Michael” tracks, has the Jackson signature sound.

Kravitz is lucky that his work with Jackson came to a result. The Black Eyed Peas’ will.i.am went to Ireland and famously worked with Jackson in a studio there. If you recall, Jackson’s then manager, Raymone Bain, even had Billy Bush from “Access Hollywood” do a piece from Ireland, showed the studio and interviewed the two men.

But as it turns out, very little happened. “There was nothing really finished or accomplished,” a source tells me. “Sony paid to keep the studio open around the clock for Michael, but he really never went there.”

We can add the Kravitz track to the list of songs on Michael including three from Eddie Cascio, three from Theron Feemster aka Neff U, and one from Akon. That makes eight of the twelve that will likely round out “Michael.”

Yesterday Sony spent a lot of time removing snippets from songs, videos, and other miscellany that was uploaded to the ‘net — purportedly from “Michael.” No one knows who’s causing all the trouble, but you can guess from the list of people whose work didn’t make it onto the finished album.

31 replies to this post
  1. I can’t believe people actually think 3T are the bad guys and $ony is the good guy. I mean …really? Taj has done nothing but stick up for Michael’s legacy. He is the one who initiated #MessageToMJ on August 29 for MJ’s B-Day. He is the one who is in constant contact with the fans answering their questions good or bad.
    Taryll questioned the tracks from the very beginning BEFORE Teddy Riley did anything with them. Get your facts straight.

  2. @Emily: Nobody knows whether Will.I.Am completed any tracks with MJ or not as there was a confidentiality agreement on all artists (Akon, Will.I.Am, Ne-Yo, RedOne etc.) who have been known to have been working with MJ in the last decade. That agreement is now a real boomerang because nobody can officially tell the public to what extent and result they have worked with Jackson! Furthermore, any completed tracks with Will.I.Am are on the Thriller 25 album. Will.I.Am was quoted correctly a.o. by Friedman that 3 tracks had been left incomplete (MJ retained the lyrics, Will.I.Am the music). If the estate decides not to publish those tracks for whatever reasons and Will.I.Am doesnt for known reasons there is nothing else we can do but wait until any confidentiality agreements are left void IMO ;-)))))))

    Again, the proof that Jackson left hundreds of complete songs behind is a myth despite some members of the Jackson camp saying otherwise, the only poeple who in fact know exactly how much there is to market, are the estate and Sony and they are being really careful about the marketing as we have daily proof.

  3. Thanks so much for printing the letter from Howard Weitzman, it sounds to me like the estate takes the concerns of the fans very seriously. You cannot fake a vocal quality people!!!!!! Michael Jackson may be the last pop entertainer whose voice was not manufactured. MMH

  4. Roger, Some of the comments are sick(MJFATCHECK) but I do thank you for keeping us up-to-date, doubt if McClain and Branca were such devils, Michael turned to them immediately when the new deal with AEG was in process. Offer Will.I.Am enough money and maybe he will release his tracks-how can he expect the dear departed to oversee his album? As for all this indignation where were all of you when Michael was drifting around Las Vegas like a shadow, where was the great love then??? Keep us informed, Roger, you are a fine repoter and for the last time, all you tone-deaf fans, it is Michael’s singing on Breaking News. MMH

  5. @ Roger: I am so sick and tired of all the poeple bickering about this!!! WE as outsiders will never know what was going on and who is honest. That is why I hope someone will have the same courage as Michael had to have his entire life, to stand up and do the right thing! Tell the truth, be brave and end the madness! There have to be people who KNOW the truth…and there are a lot of people LYING.
    I want an album with 100% Michael Jackson; not some sound-a-like. If this is the way every song of Michael is being handled, I’d rather listen to his existing music knowing it IS Michael Jackson.

  6. @Marco – Here you go:

    1. “Hold My Hand” (featuring Akon)
    2. “Hollywood Tonight”
    3. “Keep Your Head Up”
    4. “(I Like) the Way You Love Me”
    5. “Monster” (featuring 50 Cent)
    6. “Best of Joy”
    7. “Breaking News”
    8. “(I Can’t Make It) Another Day” (featuring Lenny Kravitz)
    9. “Behind the Mask”
    10. “Much Too Soon”

  7. Jackie Jackson’s twitter response to the “Michael” tracks

    “A lot of you have been asking me about this…. My friend John McClain (co-executor) and I have insisted for many weeks to have certain tracks removed from Michael’s new album. Unfortunately, our concerns were not taken seriously.”

    It seems as if Jackie also doesn’t find Breaking News to be a one hundred percent MJ song. Well neither do I. Jackie knows MJ’s voice better than anyone and if he is having doubts about certain tracks then I will not bother spending money on the faux Michael cd at all.

  8. http://music-mix.ew.com/2010/11/11/michael-jackson-breaking-news-estate/

    Dear Fans

    As the Michael album was being put together, it was decided to bring Teddy Riley on board to work on several songs, including “Breaking News,” a song Michael recorded with Eddie Cascio and James Porte in late 2007 while living at the Cascio family home with his children. Riley produced and submitted “Breaking News” to Sony for inclusion on the album. At that time, no one ever mentioned that the vocals we heard on the Cascio songs, which were basically in demo format, might not be Michael. It was known, however, that the background vocals were a combination of Michael and James Porte.

    After the tracks were submitted to Sony, three of these Cascio songs were selected to be on the album, and “Breaking News” was one of the three. The day after the submission and selection of the album tracks, for the very first time, the authenticity of Michael’s vocals on the Cascio tracks was questioned.

    Because of these questions, I was immediately asked by co-Executors John Branca and John McClain to conduct an investigation regarding the authenticity of the lead vocals on the Cascio tracks.

    Six of Michael’s former producers and engineers who had worked with Michael over the past 30 years – Bruce Swedien, Matt Forger, Stewart Brawley, Michael Prince, Dr. Freeze and Teddy Riley – were all invited to a listening session to hear the raw vocals of the Cascio tracks in question. All of these persons listened to the a cappella versions of the vocals on the Cascio tracks being considered for inclusion on the album, so they could give an opinion as to whether or not the lead vocals were sung by Michael. They all confirmed that the vocal was definitely Michael.

    Michael’s musical director and piano player on many of his records over a 20-year period, Greg Phillinganes, played on a Cascio track being produced for the album, and said the voice was definitely Michael’s. Dorian Holley, who was Michael’s vocal director for his solo tours for 20 plus years (including the O2 Concert Tour) and is seen in the This Is It film, listened to the Cascio tracks and told me the lead vocal was Michael Jackson.

    These are all engineers, producers and musicians who worked on tours and/or in the studio with Michael when he was recording Bad, Thriller, Off The Wall, Dangerous, Invincible, HIStory and Blood On The Dance Floor, and they all reconfirmed their belief that the lead vocals were Michael’s voice on the Cascio tracks.

    The Estate then retained one of the best-known forensic musicologists in the nation to listen to the vocals without any instrumental accompaniment (“a cappella”), and to compare them with a cappella vocals from previous Michael songs. This expert performed waveform analysis, an objective scientific test used to determine audio authenticity, on the Cascio tracks, as well as previously released tracks with Michael’s voice, and reported that ALL of the lead vocals analyzed (which included Cascio tracks) were the voice of Michael Jackson.

    Sony Music conducted their own investigation by hiring yet a second well-respected forensic musicologist who also compared the a cappella lead vocals from Cascio tracks against previously released vocals of Michael’s, and found that Michael’s voice was the on all sets of the raw vocals. The Cascio tracks were also played for two very prominent persons in the music industry who played crucial roles in Michael’s career. Both of these individuals believed that the lead vocals were Michael’s.

    Just to be absolutely certain, I also contacted Jason Malachi, a young singer who some persons had wrongfully alleged was a “soundalike” singer that was hired to sing on the Cascio tracks, and I confirmed that he had no involvement with this project whatsoever.

    Sony decided that, given the overwhelming objective evidence resulting from the exhaustive investigations outlined above, they wanted to release a record that included three of the Cascio-Porte tracks – because they believed, without reservation, that the lead vocal on all of those tracks were sung by Michael Jackson.

    Although there still seem to be concerns being expressed in some quarters about the authenticity of the lead vocals, notwithstanding the opinion of those who worked with Michael, and two independent forensic analysts, ultimately, Michael’s fans will be the judges of these songs, as they always are. We take all fan comments very seriously, and as I’d stated above, there is nothing more important to the Estate than Michael’s music, his legacy and his fans.

    Michael’s fans are extraordinary in their quest for accuracy and their passions to raise their voices in a search for truth! We join with them in our care and concern for Michael. We are continuing to follow up with those who have worked in the studio or on tours with Michael, and if any new information comes to light, we will keep you and the fans advised.

    Thanks,

    Howard

    Howard Weitzman, Esq.
    Attorney for the Estate Of Michael Jackson
    Santa Monica, CA

  9. Why would SONY not release the tracks produced by producers that are actually “hot” right now like will.i.am and RedOne instead of releasing tracks with artists that are now has-beens like akon and lenny kravitz. What are they going to do? wait until will.i.am and RedOne are also out of style so they can release their material they worked on with MJ? Do it NOW SONY. Those people dont know what their doing.

  10. I’m kind of amazed at all the supposed MJ fans that are flaming this controversy. Leave it to Michael Jackson to be the only star left big enough to inspire “Paul is Dead” type conspiracy theories. The song is clearly a cleaned up and processed MJ vocal, similar to posthumously finished songs by other artists (maybe it wasn’t really John Lennon on the “new” songs from the Beatles Anthologies). Anyway, basic common sense would dictate that Sony wouldn’t open themselves up to possible false-advertising charges and legal action for the inclusion of 3 fake songs. They’d just cut the track list or add some remixes. Thriller seemed to do just fine with only 9 tracks. Use your brains…

  11. Roger the Will-I-am tracks were completed but he chose not to hand them to Sony out of respect for MJ so you are wrong.
    Also Sony did NOT pay to put MJ in the studio when he was working with Will-I-am, that’s such a lie..MJ had no intention of making an album for sony in the end!

  12. huuu we have know for months about “Another Day” and the Will.i.am songs (but other good sources say 3 were completed).

    and by the way, I hope those Cascios tracks are removed, and they could give us the demos untouched versions.

  13. Your source is Teddy Riley. You’re taking his perspective. I can certainly say that the leaks come from fans who are very unhappy about the inclussion of Cascio-tracks with James Porte as the lead vocal on “Michael”.

  14. Wrong Roger – The Kravitz track wasn’t a surprise. Lenny intimated that the completed track was pending release via interviews & Twitter already!

  15. Sony should release tracks that Michael completed, fans want to hear Michael not an imposter or a horrible demo pieced together. ‘Breaking News’ is clearly Not Michael, even his family is saying it’s not him.

  16. Wrong Roger – Will.I.am has said he does have complete MJ tracks but stated categorically he won’t released then as any new MJ album not overseen by MJ is not true to his vision.
    He said we should leave MJs legacy as it stands.

    Had MJ lived, we would have seen them released. Stop making MJ out to have wasted his time. He always over-recorded demos & took years to perfect his projects – & and that was before the days of trials & family responsibilities!

    Just unfortunate he died, and rather than releasing finished MJ tracks, Sony want to release anything they can & embeleshing them with other peoples input.

    Either release MJ as he left the songs or don’t release at all. It’s Michael Jackson’s Vision & Legacy – not anyone else’s.

  17. But it seemed from a previous interview with John Branca that Michael did finish some of the songs with Will I am including (The Future, I am still the king, and miss you). Does this has anything to do with the earlier comments from Will I Am that attacked the people behind the album and calling them greedy?

  18. As I said before, all this talk about “fake vocals” is due to a money fight among producers to determine who will make the most money off of Michael Jackson. Also, I think certain members of the
    “Jackson Family” are not so sure they want the legacy of Michael Jackson’s solo career to continue. I, personally, want to hear every unreleased musical note Michael Jackson ever made.
    LONG LIVE THE KING OF POP, MICHAEL JACKSON!!!!!!

  19. Roger, good to see sensible/informed reporting amongst all the conspiracy theories. But, I’m pretty sure you are inaccurate when you report nothing much came to fruition from the Will I Am sessions. Will himself has said they worked together at his home – producing a number of tracks – such as a James Brown tribute (reported in Rolling Stone ). Will has also said he doesn’t want the tracks released as it’s disrespecting MJ, as he can no longer have creative control. Finally – what a POOR choice of album title and cover!

  20. Sony should just do us a favour and drop the cascio’s tracks.They are crappy at best,BN is 80% james porte + 20% cut and paste MJ vocals and ad libs.This album is going to flop with the cancerous cascio tracks .so many fans have cancelled there preorders and since BN was streamed it’s being dropping on amazon.com

  21. ANOTHER DAY!! Yes!!! Wonderful! That song is awesome!! Lenny plays great on it!!

    However, the Cascio tracks they should drop them out and they should not be included in the Album…they could stream them for free instead.

    I rather have 9 solid 100% MJ Tracks ONLY! Then 12…

    THRILLER had 9 tracks in the album…This new album should have 9 tracks to. It will actually be fitting has a NEW ERA of MJ. Just like THRILLER was in its time…

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