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Michael Jackson "Xscape" album features eight new songs, due May 13

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Big news for Michael Jackson fans; Epic Records chief L.A. Reid has today announced that the release date for the late superstar's "Xscape" album is just around the corner. The album, set to feature eight previously-unheard songs, will drop on May 13.

Fans may wonder how there can be a new Michael Jackson album considering the singer has been dead for nearly five years; the answer is that "Xscape" is possible thanks to lots of work on Reid's part and modern technology. Reid had Jackson's vast archives scoured for songs that were never released but that Michael had finished his vocals on, whittled the list down to eight and then presented them to some of today's hottest producers to have them "contemporized." The titles of the songs have not been released as of today but it is known that Timbaland, Stargate, John McLain, Jerome "Jroc" Harmon and Rodney Jerkins are among the producers selected to work their magic on "Xscape." Jerkins was also the original producer of one of the songs that's been modernized for the new set. A Deluxe Edition of "Xscape" that includes the original versions of all the songs will also be available on May 13.

"Xscape" honors Jackson's tradition of using one-word titles for his albums, something he began with the release of the "Thriller" album.

Further "Xscape" details will be revealed at the official Michael Jackson website as release date nears.

Pre-orders for "Xscape" will be taken beginning April 1 at iTunes.

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