While it’s well-known that Michael Jackson was working on a new album within the last couple of years, it seems the King Of Pop hoped to tackle some jazz and classical as well.
Jackson had been writing with Akon and songwriter Claude Kelly for a pop-leaning set, but was also in contact with composer David Michael Frank, according to Billboard, for classical instrumental pieces he had in mind.
“He had two demos of two pieces he’d written, but they weren’t complete,” Frank said. “For one of them, he had a whole section of it done in his head. He had not recorded it. He hummed it to me as I sat at the keyboard in his pool house and we figured out the chords –I guess this recording I made is the only copy that exists of this music… I hope one day his family will decide to record this music as a tribute and show the world the depth of his artistry.”
Jackson had apparently sat with the composer once to work on some arrangements for the pieces, and later called Frank to tell him about a jazz composition he had in mind. That was a few weeks ago.
As for his work with Kelly and Akon, many fans heard the leaked song “Hold My Hand” as it made the round on the internet last year. “He would always tell me to eat right and ask me if I was exercising and drinking water,” Akon said of his last conversation with Jackson, three months ago. “He’d always stress you had to take care of yourself before you can go off and do anything else.”
Akon says the pop star was excited for his upcoming tour and to connect with his fans — and his family. “He said, ‘My fans are still there. They still love me. They’re alive,'” Akon says. “His kids are like his first priority, and they had never seen him perform live. He was trying to create the most incredible show for his kids.”