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New Michael Jackson Album Planned for XMas Release

Michael Jackson has quickly become the highest grossing dead artist in music, and fans will get to hear still more from the King of Pop with a new album of unreleased songs slated for Christmas release.

Sony Music said the album, called “Michael,” is their latest venture since Jackson died from a fatal overdose of prescription drugs in June 2009, at 50.

A Sony spokeswoman offered few other details. There is no word yet on the number of tracks on the album, song titles, or how much production work was done after Jackson’s death.

The move is obviously in reaction to last year’s scandal when the song “This Is It,” was touted as a new Jackson single. It later proved to have been recorded 18 years earlier under a different title.

Jackson topped this year’s Forbes magazine list of top-earning dead celebrities, garnering his estate more than $275 million last year. Only Oprah Winfrey (still alive) earned more.

The late Elvis Presley, a perennial top earner, came second, with $60 million, followed by Lord of the Rings author JRR Tolkien.

Ironically, Jackson’s last studio album, 2001’s “Invincible,” was a commercial and critical flop.

The one song Sony revealed, called “Breaking News” was recorded at a friend’s studio in New Jersey in 2007 and “recently brought to completion.”

On Monday, Nov. 8, it will be streamed for one week on Michael Jackson’s Web site.

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