How Did Justin Timberlake End Up On Michael Jackson’s XSCAPE? Timbaland Explains

Timbo gives MTV News the story behind 'Love Never Felt So Good (Remix).'

The deluxe version of Michael Jackson’s new album, XSCAPE, has just one feature: Justin Timberlake on “Love Never Felt So Good (Remix).”

Sure, JT embodies some of the King of Pop’s qualities, but how did he end up on the album?

“L.A. [Reid] was torn; I wasn’t as torn,” Timbaland, who serves as the album’s executive producer, told MTV News about the singer’s inclusion. “I’m like, The kids gonna flock to this one. People don’t know Off The Wall like they know ‘SexyBack.’ So, this got more feel like if it was ‘SexyBack,’ but respect to Michael Jackson, this is how we gonna do it.”

As for why Timberlake is featured on the “Love Never Felt So Good (Remix),” as opposed to another track — that was his choosing.

“He picked the song, and that song stuck out to him,” Timbo explained. “The other songs, he was like, That’s Michael, man; you can’t get on nothing with Michael. It’s Michael.”

On the song, for which a video dropped on Wednesday morning (May 14), Jackson has the opening verse, and JT follows with his after that.

“He inserted himself just enough in ‘Love Never Felt So Good,’ and just added to what Michael was doing,” he said. “He didn’t really do too much. When he came in, it made him look special, but it didn’t make him look overwhelming. It was just enough.”

The single recently hit No. 20 on the Billboard Hot 100, and will likely continue to grow from there. It’s an outcome that Justin saw coming.

“He felt like the song that he did, he knew it was hit,” Timbo said. “He just felt like it was an honor for him, because I don’t know if he ever really, really got to work with him like that. But he talked to Michael a lot. So, it was really something I guess he wanted to do.”