Michael was released on December 10, 2010, but Nelson was actually asked to paint the photorealistic portrait of Michael Jackson years before, by request of Michael himself. The project wasn't started in Michael's lifetime, but in 2009, an executor of his estate finally commissioned it.

The contents of the image represent the three stages of Michael's career as two cherubs place a crown on his head. According to Nelson, "Michael wears a golden suit of armor and stares at the viewer as he is crowned by cupids. He places his hand over his heart and looks directly at the viewer, a symbol of Jackson's big heart and strong connection to his fans and music. A monarch butterfly sits on his shoulder, another symbol of Jackson's metamorphosis as a singer and entertainer, as well as a symbol of royalty. His musical history unfolds behind him."