Michael Jackson's producer pal Eddie Cascio is confident the late King of Pop would approve of the release of his first posthumous album - because he recorded the music for his fans. "Michael", which features previously unheard Jackson material, is set to hit music retailers next week, but its release has not been without controversy.
The singer's longtime producer Quincy Jones has blasted record bosses at Sony for allowing the perfectionist's unfinished songs to be heard by the public, while members of the Jackson family themselves have raised concerns about the authenticity of the vocals. But Cascio, who recorded the songs with Jackson at his home studio in New Jersey, insists critics will be silenced when they hear the tracks in full - because it was all the "Thriller" hitmaker worked on for the four months he lived with Cascio's family in 2007.
He tells TV titan Oprah Winfrey, "I think Michael would be very excited right now, that the music he was making for his fans, they were finally getting a chance to hear it. I can tell you that it is Michael's voice. He recorded right there in my basement. It was a home studio and we worked. I was there pushing the buttons, he was there directing. That's Michael Jackson."
"Michael made it for his fans, he recorded for his fans and they deserve for it to come out." And another of Jackson's regular collaborators, producer Teddy Riley, is standing by Cascio's claim, even though he admits it might not be the superstar at his very best.
Riley adds, "We must continue his legacy. Michael's worst days were better than all of these people's (critics') worst days. This is still Michael." During the interview, which aired in the U.S. on Monday, December 6, Winfrey gave her TV audience a preview of three new Jackson songs - "Keep Your Head Up", "Breaking News" and "Monster" - all written and produced by the late singer and Cascio.