The song was written by Akon and Claude Kelly, and recorded by the Senegalese singer and Jackson in 2007. However, a demo version of the song leaked on the Internet in 2008.
“The world was not ready to hear ‘Hold My Hand’ when it leaked a couple years ago,” Akon said in a statement. “We were devastated about it. But its time has definitely come; now in its final state, it has become an incredible, beautiful, anthemic song. I’m so proud to have had the chance to work with Michael, one of my all-time idols.”
Akon finished production on the song after Jackson’s death in 2009. ‘Hold My Hand’ follows the release of ‘Breaking News,’ which debuted on Nov. 8.
The statement also said that it was Jackson who wanted ‘Hold My Hand’ to be the first single on his next album. In a separate press release, Kelly added his thoughts about the song.
“In 2007, I co-wrote a song called ‘Hold My Hand’ with Akon. A good friend and dope engineer, Exit Goodchild made it sound like magic. My idol, Michael Jackson recorded it and made one of my lifelong dreams come true. It was slated to come out … what happened next the whole world knows. It’s now 2010, and although the circumstances are bittersweet, I am still honored and proud that ‘Hold My Hand’ will have its day in the sun. Grateful.”
‘Michael,’ set to be released on Dec. 14, will also feature collaborations with Lenny Kravitz and 50 Cent. Until you can get your hands on the full album, listen to ‘Hold My Hand’ and more hits from MJ on AOL Radio’s All Michael Jackson station.