Michael Jackson's Unreleased Songs, Continuing the Music Legacy

Reported stash of unreleased songs could be posthumous hits.

July 17, 2009, 7:17 AM

July 17 2009—, 2009 -- In the weeks after Michael Jackson's death, his No. 1 hits have been blasted in car stereos, retail stores and public memorials. And industry experts say Jackson may continue to burn up the charts with a reported a stash of unreleased music that could earn his estate millions.

"What we have seen happen in the last three weeks is that the albums that are out here right now are selling in amazing numbers," Jim Henke, curator of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, told "Good Morning America." "I think we are going to see amazing interest in any released Michael Jackson material that will come out in the future or a year from now on."

Jackson died June 25 of apparent cardiac arrest at his rented Los Angeles home. Since his death, his albums and singles have rocketed to the top of the charts once again.

Many stores have sold out of every title, unable to keep up with demand. And iTunes reported a massive spike in interest, with Jackson songs taking up nearly all the online music store's top 10 spots.

He wouldn't be the first chart-topping entertainer to release posthumous material. John Lennon did it with "Woman," released a month after he was murdered in 1980. Otis Redding's "Dock of the Bay" became a hit just weeks after his death in 1967.

And a string of Tupac albums have been released since the rapper was gunned down more than a decade ago.

TMZ unearthed a portion of a unreleased Jackson track called "A Place With No Name," possibly his take on the song "A Horse with No Name" by America.

There are reportedly many more songs Jackson recorded, now sitting in a vault, that could eventually be releasec .

"Michael was a creative artist, and he was always experimenting and changing, and really breaking the boundaries," Henke said.

Fate of Michael Jackson's Music One of Many Unresolved Issues

Because Jackson's sound was always considered sleek and state-of-the-art, Henke said any raw or unfinished songs could need serious work.

"They can take these tracks and go back in the studio with folks like Quincy Jones who worked with Michael, have him polish it up so they could get it to the standard that we are used to," he said. "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."

That interest could mean a reversal of Jackson's financial troubles. He was reportedly severely in debt when he died, partially because of his well-known lavish spending sprees.

Yet his assets, including his stakes in his Neverland Ranch and the Sony/ATV Music Publishing catalog, reportedly total more than $500 million.

The future of Jackson's music will be just one of many facets of his life left up in the air. Per a 2002 will, Jackson's estate is now in the hands of attorney John Branca and record executive John McLain, at least temporarily until a judge can determine no other will exists.

Jackson's three children remain in the custody of his mother, 79-year-old Katherine Jackson, living with her and Jackson's extended family at the Jackson's compound in Encino, Calif.

A custody hearing is scheduled for Monday, though Katherine Jackson and her son's ex-wife Debbie Rowe are in talks to resolve the issue out of the public eye. Rowe is the mother of Jackson's two oldest children, Prince Michael I and Paris-Michael Katherine, 11.

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