U.S. & World
"He was the King of Pop, the biggest to ever do it, and the one thing you never lose—whether known by the whole world or just 10 people—is your love for music," Claude told the music trade mag. "That never goes away, and it never went away for him amidst his troubles."
Akon added that Michael's upcoming sold-out "This Is It" shows in London had been an inspiration, as well.
"He said, 'My fans are still there. They still love me. They're alive,'" Akon said. "His kids are like his first priority, and they had never seen him perform live. He was trying to create the most incredible show for his kids."
Billboard also reported that Michael was working on an instrumental album, collaborating with composer David Michael Frank, who had previously worked with the singer on a 1989 TV tribute to Sammy Davis Jr.
"He had two demos of two pieces he'd written, but they weren't complete," David said. "For one of them, he had a whole section of it done in his head. He had not recorded it. He hummed it to me as I sat at the keyboard in his pool house and we figured out the chords—I guess this recording I made is the only copy that exists of this music."
And Michael had more compositions in the works, including a jazz track.
"He mentioned more instrumental music of his he wanted to record, including one jazz piece," David noted, adding that Michael had called him to check in on the project several weeks ago. "I hope one day his family will decide to record this music as a tribute and show the world the depth of his artistry."
This wasn't the only music Michael had in the works. When Access Hollywood visited Michael for his last on-camera interview in Ireland in 2006, he was joined by Will.i.am, who himself was also collaborating with the King of Pop on new songs.
"He had all the hard drives because I didn't want to be responsible for that," Will.i.am said. "It's one thing to lose a Black Eyed Peas hard drive. I move around a lot and to make songs with Michael Jackson and risk me losing that music, I didn't want that responsibility. So he kept all the stuff that we worked on."
He described the tracks as "fresh."
"It demanded all the people to the dance floor," Will.i.am said. "Of course, it was melodic. As he would say, 'juicy.'"
The status of these recordings, and whether they will see future release, remains unknown.
Related Content from AccessHollywood.com:
PLAY IT NOW: Michael Jackson's 'This Is It' Rehearsals Footage! (July 2, 2009)
PLAY IT NOW: Jermaine Jackson Talks Michael Jackson's Passing On 'Today' (July 2, 2009)