New Michael Jackson album "Xscape" to be released in May

Michael Jackson addresses a press conference at the O2 arena in London on March 5, 2009.


Epic Records and Michael Jackson's estate have announced that they are releasing "Xscape," an album of new music by the late King of Pop, on May 13.

The project is an eight-song collection of previously unreleased tracks by the singer, who died in 2009.

Epic Records Chairman and CEO L.A. Reid was granted unlimited access to four decades of material on which Jackson had completed his vocals, the label said. He then curated a final list to give to the producers, who "retooled the production to add a fresh, contemporary sound that retains Jackson's essence and integrity."

Timbaland was the album's lead producer, with additional producers including Rodney Jerkins, Stargate, Jerome "Jroc" Harmon and John McClain.

"Modern music and artistry would look and sound completely different if not for the groundbreaking contributions Michael Jackson gifted to the world," Reid said in Monday's announcement. "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. We are extremely proud and honored to present this music to the world."

"Xscape" continues Jackson's tradition of naming his albums after one of its songs. The title track was written and produced by Jackson and Jerkins, who recorded the original in the studio with the singer.

The standard and deluxe editions of "Xscape" will be available for pre-order beginning Tuesday on iTunes and elsewhere. More details about the album are expected to be revealed in the coming weeks.