When he died a week ago, Michael Jackson was sitting on so much unreleased music that fans could see more new material from him now that he’s gone than in recent years.
"There are dozens and dozens of songs that did not end up on his albums," Tommy Mottola, who from 1998 to 2003 was chairman and CEO of Sony Music, which owns the distribution rights to Jackson’s music, tells the Associated Press. "People will be hearing a lot of that unreleased material for the first time ever. There’s just some genius and brilliance in there."
Included in those recordings are unused tracks from sessions Michael held for some of most famous albums, as well as recent songs with Akon and will.i.am.
So exactly how much music are we talking about? Tommy says the album releases to be made "could go on for years and years – even more than Elvis." Tommy went on to explain that for every album Michael made, several tracks were recorded that never made it onto the records.
The Jackson family hasn’t revealed what will happen to Michael’s song catalog and unreleased concert footage. A 2002 will of the late King of Pop was just filed yesterday, leaving everything to the family trust. It’s also still unclear who exactly owns what rights to which recordings, between Sony and MJ himself.
Akon tells the AP they only completed one song, "Hold My Hand," which leaked last year, and that they talked on the phone all the time about ideas for finishing the album after the London tour.
He adds that he’ll keep those bits of songs "locked up in the vault" until the Jacksons decide what to do with his legacy.
"It was all positive records – songs to uplift people, songs to make people think about the problems in life," Akon told the AP. "It was all about bringing people together."