Rapper WILL.I.AM has blasted record label executives masterminding the release of the first posthumous Michael Jackson album, insisting the forthcoming project is "disrespectful" to the King of Pop.
Bosses at Sony are preparing for the December (10) release of Michael, which features previously unheard Jackson material, and have unveiled Akon collaboration Hold My Hand as its first single.
But the Black Eyed Peas frontman, who hit the studio with Jackson months before his untimely death, is convinced the late superstar is turning in his grave at the news - because the singer was such a perfectionist he would never want fans to hear his songs without his approval.
He tells EW.com, "Whoever put it out and is profiting off of it, I want to see how cold they are. To say that what (Jackson) contributed during his life wasn't enough. He just wasn't any ordinary artist. He was a hands-on person. To me it's disrespectful.
"Michael Jackson songs are finished when Michael says they're finished. Maybe if I never worked with him I wouldn't have this perspective. He was very particular about how he wanted his vocals, the reverb he used… he was that hands-on."
And will.i.am is adamant none of his collaborations with Jackson will ever be heard by the public out of respect for the late star.
He adds, "He kept his vocals and I kept the music. We had that understanding."
The posthumous album will also feature tracks with 50 Cent and Lenny Kravitz. Jackson died in June 2009.