Hold My Hand ~ Akon and Michael

Akon is a very successful American-born Senegalese R&B singer/songwriter, rapper, record producer and businessman. He was born Aliaune Damala Bouga Time Puru Nacka Badara Akon Thiam on April 16, 1973. Akon rose to music fame in 2004, and since then has worked with numerous talented performers, and written hit songs for many famous artists.

Akon recorded the song Hold My Hand with Michael Jackson. The song was written and given to him by 27 year old New York native, Claude Kelly, who said, “I wrote the song, and gave it to Akon with the intention of it going to, maybe, Whitney Houston. But Akon said he wanted to cut it himself. I thought, ‘It doesn’t get any bigger than this.’ A few months after, Akon plays the song for me, and all of a sudden I hear Michael Jackson’s voice. I was literally shaking by the time the song was over.”

Hold My Hand was meant to be included in upcoming albums of both Akon and Michael. Unfortunately, or fortuitously, the song was leaked in 2008 by unscrupulous media hounds before it’s intended release. This ruined the official debut of the song, so it was never officially circulated. Akon speaks about the disappointing impact of this leak, as well as his personal and delightful experiences working and playing with Michael:

After Michael’s death, Akon put the finishing touches on the song the way that he and MJ had ultimately wanted it to be. Hold My Hand is featured on the first posthumous album of Michael’s previously unpublished songs. Titled Michael, the album was released on December 14th, 2010. MJ had previously handwritten a note indicating his desire that this song should be the first single on his next project. Akon stated in an interview with MTV News, “The world was not ready to hear ‘Hold My Hand’ when it leaked a couple years ago. We were devastated about it. But its time has definitely come. Now in its final state, it has become an incredible, beautiful, anthemic song. I’m so proud to have had the chance to work with Michael, one of my all time idols.”

He went on to say, “The concept is to bring all the people together as one person linking as one world. At the state of where the world is now, with all these wars and conflict all over the place, I think a record like that is needed. That’s the best time when a voice needs to be heard.  I felt like, ‘What better voice between me and Mike to be able to say something like that at the time we in?’ Outside of trying to do a club record or a record we expect to get thousand of [spins], it was more so, ‘Let’s do a record that fits all formats but also has some meaning to it.”

Earlier in the week, in advance of the launch of Michael, on the Epic label owned by Sony Records, the new music video for Hold My Hand was released. The video is directed by Mark Pellington, and pays tribute to MJ’s legacy with clips of both Michael and Akon amidst Michael’s fans uniquely paying homage to his memory. Producer Mark Pellington said on MichaelJackson.com, “The video is a tribute to all that Michael stands for – life, in all its permutations and love, in its power.  [This is] a video of memory, healing and joy.”

Opening lyrics: “This life don’t last forever. So tell me what we’re waiting for…”

Michael Jackson’s messages to the world are of unity. Always, they were reminders that we need to reach out, embrace one another, and that to give love is to receive love. And because no one knows what the future may bring, we must find it within ourselves to live, love and trust regardless of the risks.

Hold My Hand is parting wisdom from a man who was as enigmatic and contradictory as he was talented and generous.

Hold My Hand ~ Official Video

Cry Out Of Joy ~ written in July 2009 by Akon

In the summer of 2009, shortly after Michael passed from this life, Akon wrote and recorded a moving tribute song for his beloved mentor and friend called Cry Out Of Joy. Below is a particularly moving tribute video made by a Michael Jackson fan from Japan. I am sharing this as an example of the abundant LOVE that flows from uncountable hearts for Michael Joseph Jackson.

You Tube Sawapong’s Channel
Uploader Comments:
“I made this vid ‘n translated into my language. Hope you’ll like it.” July 28, 2009

Almost a year later: “It’s been almost 11 month since I posted this video, and it’s been one year since this world lost Michael Jackson. I’d like to say ‘Thank You’ to each one of you who took time to watch this vid and left sweet comments. It got more than 199,000 views [in the first year]. It’s incredible and I am so happy. Thank you Akon for this beautiful song. And THANK YOU Michael for EVERYTHING. Michael’s beautiful soul and messages he shared with us will LIVE FOREVER. May he will rest in peace.”

You Tube Video & Translation by Sawapong.
沢山再生して頂いて ありがとうございます!!

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