Katrina song said ready
Eight days after Hurricane Katrina hit (on his birthday) Michael Jackson announced he would release an all-star charity single.
In a telephone interview from Dubai last week, Sheik Abdullah bin Hamad Al Khalifa, the son of Bahrain’s king, told The Associated Press, "The record is coming along great. We’ve been taking our time to perfect it and mix it."
The song is currently titled "I Have This Dream," and it includes James Ingram, Jackson’s brother Jermaine, Shanice, the Rev. Shirley Caesar and the O’Jays, the prince said.
"We were wondering whether or not it was ever coming out," Andy Gibson, co-manager of the O’Jays, told the AP this week. "They recorded their part of it two or three months ago."
The prince said the release has been delayed because additional artists wanted to contribute. But he declined to name those artists – "I’d like to keep that as a surprise" – or to name the company he claimed to have secured to sell the song via CDs and the Internet.
Prince Abdullah, 30, plans to release the song on his own 2 Seas label. "Michael did a wonderful track," he said. "His voice was phenomenal."
He said the song, which Jackson wrote, "is a message of peace and help and caring. It’s a song of total oneness."
Jackson has been living in Bahrain since his acquittal in a harrowing molestation trial last year, and now has a house there, the prince said. He didn’t know if Jackson plans to settle in the country permanently.
Several of the participating artists recorded their portions of the song Nov. 1, gathering at a Los Angeles studio, Bain said.
"Overall, it came out very well," said Eddie Levert, lead singer for The O’Jays. "It had a strong gospel feel. I think it’s really a great song. If radio plays it, it could do very well."
"To work with him on this project was such a privilege and a blessing," Caesar said. "Michael is a true humanitarian."Asked if the song’s release was a harbinger of a new Jackson album, Prince Abdullah laughed and said, "I will just say we’ve been very busy."
"This is a raindrop before the thunderstorm,’ he said. "He’s getting ready to come out with a lot of bells and whistles. He’s so energized. It’s explosive."
“The time taken reflects the enormous logistics involved in putting together the tracks with the participation of some of the busiest stars in the international music scene as well as the legal fine-tuning involved in tying up with distribution companies,” a source close to Shaikh Abdullah told the Bahrain Tribune, “There are so many legal aspects involved that it often takes close to a year to clear all the issues and begin distributing the music. Luckily, we have been working very hard and our experts have nearly completed formalities in record time so we expect that we shall be ready to announce distribution tie-ups very soon.”
Source: Bahrain Tribune
FINISHING touches are now being put to the final production of Michael Jackson’s Hurricane Katrina relief song – which is being released on Bahraini label 2 Seas Records, according to a statement released by his publicist Raymone Bain yesterday.
The label belongs to Southern Governor Shaikh Abdulla bin Hamad Al Khalifa, who is reportedly spearheading the project.
Recording artists Keisha Cole, Ciara, Babyface and R Kelly are among singer taking part in the song, I Have This Dream.
It was written by Mr Jackson in response to Hurricane Katrina, which happened at the end of last August and was the most destructive and costliest natural disaster in the history of the US.
"This project is in response to the widespread devastation wrought by Hurricane Katrina," said Shaikh Abdulla in the statement.
"It is my hope that the proceeds from this recording will make a tremendous difference to all individuals affected by this tragedy in the US."
No release date for the song has been announced, but a spokesman said it is due out "very soon".
He also said more than 10 additional artistes participating in the production would be named.
Most of the participants recorded their parts in Los Angeles, while Mr Jackson himself recorded in London.
Mr Jackson became friends with Shaikh Abdulla as a result of the latter’s friendship with his brother Jermaine, who has long-standing links with Bahrain.