Unreleased Michael Jackson material coming soon?

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The Michael Jackson fan community is buzzing today after comments made by record producer and previous Jackson collaborator Fred Jerkins III were reported by Birmingham Mail.

Jerkins, who works as part of the “Darkchild” writing and production team with his brother Rodney, stated that he would soon publish unreleased material from the King of Pop.

“We have a number of unreleased songs and all sorts of video footage,” stated Jerkins.

“There’s a project in the making right now that will include all those songs. I worked with him for two years exclusively – it’s the biggest highlight of my career.”

Both Fred and Rodney Jerkins worked extensively with Jackson from mid 1999 on what would become the ‘Invincible’ album; ultimately released in late October, 2001.

Contributions from the pair include the album’s lead single, “You Rock My World”, as well as “Unbreakable”, “Heartbreaker” and “Privacy”.

A series of songs recorded during the ‘Invincible’ sessions, including fan favourites “We’ve Had Enough” and “Escape” – both of which are widely available – did not make the final cut. Another track rumoured to hail from those sessions is known by Jackson fans as “Can’t Get Your Weight Off Of Me”.

“We got a lot of great stuff that hasn’t even surfaced yet; that hasn’t even come out yet,” confirmed Rodney [Jerkins] in an interview shortly before Jackson’s death.

“I think some of the stuff that didn’t come out was some of the best stuff that we did.”

“[I’ve worked with] Mary J. Blige, Whitney Houston, Beyoncé, Brandy, Monica, everybody,” continued Jerkins, “But Michael was the pinnacle.”

“I’m glad to say that I got the chance to work with the greatest entertainer of all time, and he let me videotape every session! So I got some of the best footage. I got some great sessions on tape.”

Jerkins flirted with the idea of putting some of the footage online for fans to enjoy, but seemingly decided against it.

The footage remains unreleased to this day.

In the four years since the superstar’s death Jerkins has claimed that there is approximately an album’s worth of unreleased material that he recorded with Jackson that could come out in the future.

Speaking in an interview with Vlad TV, published via YouTube on July 26, 2010 Jerkins even hinted that he was gearing up for a possible stint working on the first posthumous Michael Jackson album.

“I’m about to work on a new unreleased project that we’re talking about doing right now,” said Jerkins.

“It’s definitely going to come, but it takes time you know, you gotta do a lot of the ‘red tape’. But yeah there’s definitely going to be an unreleased Michael Jackson [album] and hopefully I’ll be a part of that project.”

Jerkins’ statements were backed up two weeks later by co-executor of The Michael Jackson Estate, John Branca, in an exclusive interview with Vibe magazine on August 10, 2010.

“We are finishing up the album as we speak,” Branca told the publication.

“There will be some will.i.am, Teddy Riley and Rodney Jerkins songs. We don’t want to put 10 unrelated songs together. We want to put together an album that fits well.”

However, neither will.i.am nor Rodney Jerkins’ unreleased material was included on the album, much to the disappointment of Michael Jackson fans around the world.

With Queen guitarist Brian May confirming that Jackson’s collaborations with Freddy Mercury will also soon be published, the coming months could prove to be a very exciting time for fans of the King of Pop.

UPDATE: Rodney Jerkins was kind enough to give me the following statement in reaction to his brother Fred’s recent comments regarding the release of unheard Darkchild recordings with Michael Jackson:

“I have no idea what Fred is talking about. I have not spoken to him about this so not sure what material he is speaking of.” – August 12, 2013

Are YOU excited by the latest revelations? Discuss below…

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