Michael Jackson had "been working" on an album shortly before he died - which is no surprise; rumours that he'd be about to record something or other floated up every few months, often attached to a natural or man-made disaster, before the sound of hard-drives being wiped heralded the arrival of a cold, hard look at himself.
Now he's dead, though, who is to save Jackson from himself? Now, the prospect of a half-finished half-arsed album seeing the light of day cannot be stopped, especially when the self-regarding R Kelly is offering to "help":
Kelly had worked with the King of Pop on numerous occasions and claims Jackson reached out to him shortly before his June (09) death to discuss his upcoming release.
The pair never arranged any studio time, but Kelly is convinced Jackson would have chosen him to complete his final masterpiece.
Well, yes, why not? Assuming Macaulay Culkin was too busy filming insurance adverts, and Weird Al was still only really interested in the parody stuff, and McCartney was still screening calls, and LaToya would only do it if she could wear the hat, there's every chance that Michael Jackson would have entrusted his precious legacy to R Kelly. Eventually. Or Lil Wayne. Or maybe Eminem.
Kelly, though, is convinced he'd be first choice:
"I recorded five joints for Michael Jackson (in the past). And we had been talking on the phone about his new album, and I was going to finish what Michael was doing at the time. We're going to get it out though. Michael liked the way I would try to sing the songs just like him."
Kelly manages to sound both as if he believed that Jackson knew he was going to die and had asked him to finish the record - perhaps grabbing him by the arm and saying "listen, R, if anything happens to me..." - but equally convinced that Jackson is still alive and is going to help him with the record.
R Kelly then intends to help push the health care bill through in Washington - apparently Ted Kennedy called and asked personally.