New Michael Jackson Album Pits Sony Music Against Jackson Clan

PHOTO The much anticipated album of newly completed recordings from Michael Jackson entitled MICHAEL will be released on December 14 by Epic Records in conjunction with the Estate of Michael Jackson.
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News that a new Michael Jackson album of previously unreleased songs is due to be released next month was quickly followed by protests from his family.

"If Michael had wanted this music released he would have done so before his death," Joe Jackson's attorney Brian Oxman said in a statement.

"The songs which are being released on the new Michael Jackson album were unfinished and incomplete tracks that Michael said over and over many times he never wanted released," Oxman said. "We should honor Michael Jackson's wishes."

Jackson's mother, Katherine Jackson, and his two eldest children, Prince Michael and Paris, have gone so far as to charge that the tracks are fakes -- sung by a Jackson impersonator, TMZ reported. The website claims the children were present when their father recorded some of the songs and that the tracks on the album don't match what they heard.

But Sony's Epic Records has guaranteed the album is authentic.

"We have complete confidence in the results of our extensive research as well as the accounts of those who were in the studio with Michael that the vocals on the new album are his own," Sony told ABC News.

A source close to the Jackson family told ABC News that two forensic companies have confirmed it is Jackson's voice on the album.

The source also said that Jackson's children didn't actually hear all the tracks, but have been pressured by their family into taking sides.

Jackson's career has continued to flourish, even in death.

Forbes recently named the late singer as the best selling artist in 2009 and the posthumous "This Is It" documentary was the highest grossing concert movie, bringing in more than $260 million.

There's also a new video game and a Cirque Du Soleil world tour dedicated to Jackson.

"There is a long history of albums or singles coming out after an artist has died and quite often they do quite well and there is a lot of interest in them," Rock and Roll Hall of Fame curator John Henke said.

First Single on Michael Jackson Album Recorded by King of Pop in 2007

A news release put out by Sony on Thursday described the new album, titled simply "Michael," as a compilation of songs recorded all over the country with a small group of hand-picked collaborators.

Sony, in collaboration with Jackson's estate, took the singer's recordings and "brought them to completion.

The first single, "Breaking News," is set to be released on Monday. The track, which will be available in its entirety on the official Michael Jackson web site, was recorded in New Jersey in 2007, according to Sony.

The full album will drop Dec. 14.

Jackson died in June 2009 of an overdose of propofol, a powerful hospital-grade anesthetic most commonly used during surgery. Jackson had been using the drug to sleep as he prepared for "This Is It," which was to be his comeback tour.

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