Parting with work crafted specifically for the King of Pop is proving to be a dilemma for R&B singer Ne-Yo.
The ‘Champagne Life’ creator, who wrote several songs specifically for Michael Jackson‘s comeback career, is refusing to give up the cherised tunes.
“I can’t sell them on to someone else as that would be disrespectful,” Ne-Yo told ‘The Sydney Morning Herald.’ “But I also think it might be disrespectful to bring them out myself. The songs are sitting in archives but I really don’t know what to do with them.”
Torn over keeping the tracks or shelling them out to artists he’s been known to work with, the 30-year-old songwriter feels he may be better off holding onto them until the time is right to release the Jackson-inspired songs. “So I don’t know, I’ll sit on them and wait. It’s definitely quality music but they were songs written absolutely for Michael Jackson.”
Ne-Yo was handpicked by Jackson to pen songs for a new album he was working on before his untimely death. In an interview with ‘New York’ magazine in 2008, the singer described the moment when the King of Pop contacted him.
“I actually hung up on him because I thought someone was playin’,” he said. “‘Who’s this?’ [high voice] ‘This is Michael Jackson.’ Click. Then his representative called back. ‘This is Peter Lopez. I have Michael Jackson on the phone.’ And I was like, ‘Oh my God. Are you serious?’ And then I apologized for the next ten minutes. Any comedian who has ever made fun of Michael Jackson was right on. Sad but true. He does have a very high, not very manly voice.”
Currently, Ne-Yo is promoting his fourth studio album, ‘Libra Scale,’ which spawned the singles ‘Beautiful Monster’ and ‘Champagne Life.’ The singer/songwriter has also thrown on his acting hat, portraying a Tuskegee Airmen pilot in the film ‘Red Tails.’