Michael Jackson, Freddie Mercury Duets Being Prepped for Release

By Colin Bertram
|  Tuesday, Jul 30, 2013  |  Updated 2:30 PM EDT
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The "King of Pop" Michael Jackson

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Finally, the music created when the King of Pop met Queen will be released. And it's only taken 30 years.

Queen guitarist Brian May says he's working to complete duets recorded three decades ago by the band's late frontman Freddie Mercury and Michael Jackson.

May wrote on his blog that he was working on the tapes with producer William Orbit, who has previously collaborated with Madonna ("Ray of Light") and Blur ("Think Tank"). May added the project was "exciting, challenging, emotionally taxing. But cool."

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The tracks were originally recorded at Jackson's California home in 1983, but the material was not released. Shortly following the recording sessions Mercury and Jackson reportedly had a falling out. According to Jim "Miami" Beach, Queen's manager, the two split ways after Jackson brought a llama into the studio.

"Mercury rang me and said: 'Miami, dear, can you get over here? You've got to get me out of here; I'm recording with a llama." Beach told NME.

May said in 2011 that he had been given permission by the Jackson estate to release the recordings and wrote recently that, “We will have something for folks to hear in a couple of months’ time, hopefully.”

Mercury died in 1991 and Jackson in 2009.

In related news, comedian Sacha Baron Cohen recently dropped out of playing Freddie Mercury in a biopic of the band citing creative differences.

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According to Deadline, Cohen ("Borat") opted out of the role because he wasn't seeing eye to eye with Queen's remaining bandmembers who have approval over the movie's script and director. Cohen reportedly wanted to portray a grittier side of the singer while the bandmembers wanted a more PG-friendly film.

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