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Controversial posthumous Michael Jackson single 'Breaking News' debuts

Large_albumEven in death Michael Jackson has managed to captivate the media, so it's only appropriate that the lead single from his first posthumous album, "Michael," pokes jabs at his long, storied distaste for making headlines.

On Monday morning, his official site posted the full stream of "Breaking News," a jarring kiss off to the tabloids that preyed on his eccentricities even after his 2009 death.

The track is introduced by a slew of reporters' voices reading headlines of the singer.

"If you thought there was nothing else to say about Michael Jackson, just wait," one reporter says.

"Everybody wanting a piece of Michael Jackson, reporters stalking the moves of Michael Jackson," he sings on the track -- reportedly recorded in 2007 at a friend's New Jersey home, where the singer and his three kids had holed up for a number of months. "Just when you thought he was done, he comes to give it again."

"Breaking News" isn't the first time Jackson aired his grievances with the media through song. "Tabloid Junkie," "This Time Around," "Leave Me Alone" and, of course, "Scream" all quickly come to mind.

In true Jackson form, the song is already the center of controversy.

After TMZ reported that the singer's kids and mother had questioned the authenticity of Jackson's voice on the tracks, Sony Records released a statement saying it had "complete confidence in the results of our extensive research as well as the accounts of those who were in the studio with Michael that the vocals on the new album are his own."

The song has led to a debate on Twitter and the blogosphere, and while we're not in the business of voice authentication here at Pop & Hiss, it's understandable why there could be questions. The last time fans heard a new authorized Jackson track was last year's "This Is It," and the song was recorded more than 25 years ago. Voices do mature with age, and maybe Jackson -- a notorious perfectionist -- wanted to try something new with his vibrato.

TJ Jackson, the son of Jackson's brother Tito, took to Twitter to argue that the song was a sham and that fans should be wary.

"There's many MJ vocal impersonators. Some better than others. But there is only ONE Michael Jackson. Deceptively merging shady vocals with MJ samples (from prior MJ records) will never fool me," he tweeted.

Last week, Sony Records and Jackson's estate announced the first posthumous album release from the singer. “Michael,” which will hit stores Dec. 14, features newly completed recordings from the legend's vast unreleased archives.

"Unbeknownst to many fans around the world [Jackson] was writing and recording songs continuously everywhere from a friend’s home in New Jersey to studios in Las Vegas and Los Angeles with a small group of handpicked collaborators," read a statement regarding the album's release. "Now, through the unique stories that will be told about the songs that comprise 'Michael,' fans will get mind-blowing insight into how this artist worked and a chance to hear the songs he most recently created along with tracks that Michael had a desire to bring to fruition."'

The album cover -- an oil painting by artist Kadir Nelson -- shows Jackson as a king wearing his signature studded glove with a crown being placed on his head by angels. A collage of his greatest works surrounds him.

Earlier this year, his estate signed a $250-million deal with Sony, which would oversee the release of 10 albums -- both original and reissue collections -- over the course of seven years. Adding to his magnitude of accomplishments from beyond, he also landed the No. 1 spot on Forbes's Top-Earning Dead Celebrities List as his estate brought in more than $275 million over the last 12 months.

The album is just the latest project that fans of the King of Pop should save up for. Cirque du Soleil has announced plans for a Jackson-themed touring production that will combine the singer's legendary moves and music with Cirque's eye-popping acrobatics.

-- Gerrick D. Kennedy


Photo: Album cover courtesy of MichaelJackson.com

Comments () | Archives (7)

please that's not mj,we heard him sing human nature and I just cant stop loving you live in the ''this it movie'' and his voice was crisp.They hired an impersonator to sing the lead vocals and sampled mj's eowws and ahh's.I cant believe they tried to fool us.I have already cancelled my pre-order.

MOTIVE - Michael Jackson's family wanted some songs they had in there possession placed on the new album. When Sony and the Michael Jackson Estate declined the were angered. Futhermore, Michael Jackson's family wants control over his estate from John Branca and John Mcclain. They have tried everything they could to bad mouth the excutors of the Estate.

The new album is Michael Jackson and his family knows it!!!!

I guess the Mourning Period is over and the Make as Much Money as Possible has begun....

If M.J.s new album isn't finished, It should not be released. The song "Breaking News" is way over produced and Michael's vocals to monotone. It is as if someone took two or three sample melodies of "maybe" Michael's and over produced it to make it full. M.J. opening debut song choice for a new album would never be a tabliod oriented, b- side empty melo"died', cutting room floor track. Michael's previous album openers showcased and embodied the whole album. Michael Jackson is at peace now. No more fighting the media or termoil. If you ask me the album sounds regressive from the start.

Michael was our greatest American hero whom the media tried to destroy. There should be a law against the media using soundbites, snippets and deceiving editing to paint a picture of someone that is so from reality. For the millions who studied him, we appreciate him tremendously. We'll always have the video footage (which never got airtime) of Michael visiting orphanges & hospitals the world over; giving millions of dollars to children's charities; the organ transplants, funerals & medical bills he paid for. We thank him for teaching us that what this world needs is a little more love. I'm ashamed of the way he was treated & continues to be treated. He's the greatest entertainer to ever live & through tremendously hard work & dedication to his craft, he brought us a level of joy & entertainment that we will never see again. He gave the world all he had, his talent, his time, his money, his music, his dance, his speeches with a message of hope & he got nothing but a media crucifixion in return. For those who are intelligent enough to be his admirers, we will always love & respect Mr. Jackson.

I feel sorry for both the adult and child victims of Michael Jackson. Posted on-line and giant billboards are the word, A Living Legend." Yes, he's a legend all right. His unfortunate victims will remember him all their lives. Does anybody else feel appalled at the apparent disrespect shone these people? How would you feel if somebody hurt you privately and had public approval (or at least dismissal)? Enjoy his music, most of it's very good. But why do we think the artist is the equal of his/her artistic talent? The same goes for any person in a position of power. Even Spiderman had it right . . . "With great power, comes great responsibilty. Jackson had power and used it to exploit and ut children. Society has a tremendous amount of power as well. It's too bad we squander it condoning behavior that is testiment to this person's weakness, sadism and apparent inability to handle life without bring some innocent children with him.

Jennifer, do your research, the man is innocent, the FBI has confirmed after 15 years of investigation.


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