The King of Pop will be resurrected — at least in the studio. Nearly five years after his death, Michael Jackson’s estate has given Epic Records C.E.O./executive producer L.A. Reid and Timbaland permission to “contemporize” eight previously unreleased tracks for the album Xscape, due May 13.
“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 on Monday. “We are extremely proud and honored to present this music to the world.”
There will also be a deluxe edition that includes the original recordings; both the deluxe and original go to iTunes preorder tomorrow (April 1.)
Jackson still leads the record books as the most successful male solo artist of the modern Billboard era, with 13 no. 1 hits on the Hot 100 and six no. 1 album debuts — including 1982’s Thriller, which is certified 29 times platinum and remains the best-selling studio album of all time. This will be his second posthumous release since 2009’s This Is It soundtrack.