On the heels of the premiere of the instantly controversial "Breaking News" comes word that the second single (but first official) from Michael, a duet with Akon recorded a mere, um, three years ago, will be released Monday.
Just three more sleeps! But with all due respect to Akon, what makes this song so special?
Easy: it was handpicked by Michael himself.
"Hold My Hand" owes its pole position to Jackson, who penned a handwritten note—now the property of his estate—which expressed his desire to make that song his first single. As it happens, it got released a little earlier than he would have liked, leaking out unfinished in 2008.
This, however, is a different "Hold My Hand."
"The world was not ready to hear 'Hold My Hand' when it leaked a couple years ago," Akon said. "We were devastated about it. But its time has definitely come; now in its final state, it has become an incredible, beautiful, anthemic song. I'm so proud to have had the chance to work with Michael, one of my all time idols."
In addition to Akon, Michael enlisted the help of 50 Cent and Lenny Kravitz to complete the album, as both singers feature on the new release.
The first single will be released globally at 12:01 ET on Monday, premiering on michaeljackson.com and subsequently be available for digital downloading.
The album, which culls together nine years of material, will be released Dec. 14. Here's the complete track listing:
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"