L.A. Reid has confirmed plans for a Justin Bieber and Michael Jackson collaboration in an Access Hollywood interview with the XSCAPE executive producer.
Epic Records Chairman and CEO L.A. Reid has revealed a “really special” collaboration with Justin Bieber and late legend Michael Jackson is in the works and will likely be released at some point in the future.
The veteran is the executive producer of Xscape, the second, posthumous, and just-released Jackson album. So if anyone knows what the Michael Jackson estate and Epic have in store, it’s Reid.
Back in August, Jackson’s unreleased “Slave 2 The Rhythm” track leaked online with new vocals from Bieber. Reaction from Justin’s fans was typically enraptured, while Jackson’s fanbase went nuts and raised a petition to have the song pulled.
Within days, the duet was unceremoniously yanked from video sharing sites following take down notices from Sony Music Entertainment, and now appears without Bieber on Xscape.
Speaking to Access Hollywood’s Shaun Robinson, Reid talked about the leak, and opened up about his relationship with Justin and that duet to come.
“I signed Justin, so I feel a loyalty,” Reid said, referring to his time as head of Island Def Jam Records where he signed Bieber in 2008.
“I feel like I should protect him. That’s my relationship with him,” L.A. added.
“‘Slave 2 The Rhythm’ didn’t include him [Bieber] per my direction. If it hadn’t been leaked, it would have been featured but it sort of took the wrong turn,” the CEO explained.
He went on, “But you know what? We’re gonna revisit that and do something really special with Justin Bieber and Michael.”
Robinson pressed, asking,”So Justin Bieber and Michael Jackson may be singing together on a future release of Michael’s?”
Reid replied, “I’m pretty sure.”
Billboard reports that, after the release of first single, “Love Never Felt So Good“ featuring Justin Timberlake, Xscape is now circling a No.1 debut on the Billboard 200 after the single hit the Hot 100 and Hot R&B/Hip-Hop charts.
It’s received some great reviews along the way despite The Black Keys’ Patrick Kearney’s furious opinion. The eight-track release topped over 50 iTunes charts around the world when it dropped and is set to debut at #1 in the UK this weekend.
From the sound of things, Reid is keen for Bieber and Jackson to deliver something worthy of the legend’s legacy, although it likely won’t surpass what has gone before.
“Michael has some of the greatest albums… it’s very, very tough to top that. Michael always lived in his mind of topping it,” said Reid.
“But in the process of trying to compete with and top Thriller, he made some really great songs — maybe they didn’t live up to ‘Billie Jean‘ and ‘Beat It‘ and ‘The Girl Is Mine,’ but they were still great,” he concluded.
What is to come – http://t.co/QZRakEYTNl
— Justin Bieber (@justinbieber) May 15, 2014
It’s no secret that Jackson is one of Bieber’s musical heroes.
On Wednesday, Justin directed his over 51 million Twitter constituency to the Reid interview after posting a six-part message addressing an attempted robbery claim made against him — which the singer, his lawyer and an eyewitness have said didn’t take place.
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