Michael Jackson has sold over 35 million albums worldwide since his death in June 2009.
Classic albums like “Thriller,” “Off the Wall,” as well as compilations like “Michael Jackson Essentials” and “Number Ones,” took turns succeeding one another atop the Billboard charts in the weeks following Jackson's tragic passing at age 50. But MJ’s “Michael,” a posthumous LP featuring Akon, 50 Cent and Lenny Kravitz, scheduled to hits stores today (December 14), may not generate as much buzz as his previous work.
Though anticipated, the album has sparked its share of controversy. Will.i.am, who worked with Jackson before his passing but doesn’t appear on the album, thinks releasing posthumous material from Michael is disrespectful. Akon, who co-wrote and co-produced the first single, “Hold My Hand,” begs to differ. Meanwhile, Marsha Ambrosius, who wrote MJ’s 2001 hit, “Butterflies,” welcomes new Jackson music with open arms.
“I’m thankful to have worked with Michael Jackson when I did, you know, his passing was very unexpected and that was definitely on my to-do list of things I’d do when I was getting out of my career, not just jumping into the music industry,” Marsha told BET.com. “With Michael Jackson releasing an album in the next couple of weeks, I’m like, ‘thank you’ for whatever material that we can still hear from the greatest to ever do it.
“I don’t think there will be anyone as great,” she continued. “No shade to anyone trying to be that standard, but he’s been doing it since he was 6. It’s just a whole different time. You could never be and do what he did for music, so I’m just thankful that there’s more music to be heard from him.”
Bruno Mars, on the other hand, isn’t sold on the idea of a new MJ record. “As far as the Michael Jackson album is concerned, I’m mixed,” he explained. “As a fan and putting myself in his shoes, I personally wouldn’t want my music to be out there if I couldn’t sign it off and put my stamp on it.
“Personally, I say the man has done so much music that’s gonna live forever, I think we’re good with what we got,” he added. “If he didn’t want it to come out, let’s keep it in the closet.”
Michael Jackson’s “Michael” is in stores now.