Jackson's new single not a fake, insists label
MICHAEL Jackson's record label last night took the unusual step of issuing a statement to insist the star's new posthumous single is not a fake.
The move was prompted by persistent family claims that the voice on the disc, which is tipped to be a Christmas number one, was someone else.
Jackson's nephews, Taryll, Taj and TJ Jackson, said on Twitter this week that the voice featured on the song was not their uncle's voice.
"I KNOW my uncle's voice and something's seriously wrong when you have immediate FAMILY saying it's not him," wrote Taryll Jackson.
"Don't you have to wonder why? I have strong, undeniable points. They can't give me answers, yet continue to move forward with lies and deception. Sounding like Michael Jackson and BEING Michael Jackson are two different things."
Michael Jackson's brother Jackie also took to Twitter this week, and while he did not call the song a fraud, he did voice concerns.
"My friend John McClain and I have insisted for many weeks on having certain tracks removed from Michael's new album," wrote Mr Jackson about Mr McClain, who is co-executor of Michael Jackson's estate. "Unfortunately, our concerns were not taken seriously."
But now the record company has gone on the offensive. "When I heard these songs, my heart cried hearing Michael again in good spirits. The vocals sounded very polished, very on key and processed. I have no doubts that these are Michael's vocals," Jackson's long-time producer Teddy Riley said .
'Breaking News' is the first song from 'Michael' due out in December. It's the first album of unreleased Jackson material since his death.
Epic Records, Jackson's label, said Jackson not only co-wrote the song in 2007 but also co-produced it with Eddie Cascio and James Porte. It made its debut on michaeljackson.com on Monday.
Mr Riley, who worked with Jackson on the albums 'Dangerous', 'HIStory', 'Invincible', and other projects, said he had the family's support.
"I did what Michael would expect of me with the tools I had to work with (vocal tracks of Michael). This is his legacy," he said. "Let it live."
Frank Dileo, who had been Jackson's manager years ago and re-entered his career shortly before his death, also vouched for the song's authenticity.
"I spoke to Michael by telephone at the Cascios' home studio several times while he was recording with them, and he was excited and enthused by the music and the experience," Mr Dileo said in a statement.
The album is being released in conjunction with Jackson's estate, which is managed by Mr McClain and John Branca, who was Jackson's lawyer for years.