Akon realised a long time ago when he did a duet with Michael, that musical collaborations are the way to reach to the top and that successful artistes should assist up- and coming artistes to achieve this. Akon and Michael were close friends near the end of Michael’s life.
In 2008, Akon collaborated with Michael on the song ‘Hold My Hand,’ and after their recording, this is what Akon had to say: “Mike is the King of Pop, and I think that it’s a dream come true for any major artiste, songwriter or producer to be able to work with the best in the business!
“You know, to work with someone like Mike , who’s created opportunities, opened doors for so many people, and achieved so much in the music world, period, is just an experience which would be enough to take home for anyone!
“I mean, when I first flew up to Vegas and met him it was almost like we’d known each other for years! Literally! Cause musically we were on the same exact page! The chemistry was just incredible! And, as a person, he was the most cool, humble dude I’ve ever met! I mean, we even actually got to go to the movies together – in broad daylight, which was an experience in itself!”
Akon now believes that if huge stars such as Michael can open doors for him, why should he not do the same for his fellow Africans? Born in Missouri, he has spent much of his life in Senegal, which he considers to be his “hometown.” He has collaborated with several African musicians on various projects