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Last Updated: Wednesday, 19 April 2006, 07:34 GMT 08:34 UK
Jackson to make album in Bahrain
Michael Jackson, pictured in January
Michael Jackson's singles are being re-released in the UK
Singer Michael Jackson is to record his first new album since 2001 on a label based in the Gulf state of Bahrain.

Jackson, who has lived in the Middle East since being acquitted of child abuse charges, is expected to release the new record next year.

The 47-year-old said he is "incredibly excited" about the new project.

Guy Holmes, chairman of UK label Gut Records, is expected to manage the album's production and look after Jackson's business interests.

Charity record

Jackson has struck the deal with a member of the Bahraini royal family Abdulla Hamad Al-Khalifa, according to a statement from the Two Seas record company.

Mr Holmes, who has been named manager of the new venture, is planning to divide his time between London and Bahrain.

"I am enjoying being back in the studio making music," added Jackson, whose last album release was Invincible in 2001.

Jackson's US spokeswoman, Raymone Bain, said she was not aware of the agreement, but added that his charity record for Hurricane Katrina had been released on the Two Seas label.

A deal with a major label to distribute the album has yet to be announced.

Jackson's deal with Epic, a label belonging to Sony BMG, recently expired. They declined to comment on the singer's latest plans.

The company is currently re-releasing 20 of the singer's hits in a dual CD and DVD format in the UK, which have regularly been settling inside the Top 20.

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