London: Late King of Pop Michael Jackson’s highly anticipated new album, ‘Michael’ has already been pirated by computer hackers, and leaked on to file-sharing websites.
The album, a mix of unreleased material and collaborations with stars such as rocker Lenny Kravitz, 46, and rapper 50 Cent, 35, is due out on December 13.
But now bosses at label Sony/Epic now fear fans will just snap it up online for free, and it could leave record companies up to 100 million pounds out of pocket.
“This a huge blow for the record company and the music industry in general. The album was top, top secret but they just couldn’t keep it out of the hands of internet tricksters,” a daily quoted a source as saying.
Jackson, who died at the age of 50 in June last year, is believed to have had a huge catalogue of unreleased material.
In March, Sony signed a 200 million pound deal to retain the distribution rights until 2017, but now the leaking of the new album on the net has left the firm’s marketing plans in chaos.
Eddie Cascio, Jacko’s one-time friend and producer, denied the leak would destroy album sales.
“Michael would be very excited right now. He made the music for his fans, and they are finally getting a chance to hear it,” he stated.