David Bowie is writing the score for the Sponge Bob Square Pants musical

Cyndi Lauper and Aerosmiths' Steven Tyler are also contributing

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David Bowie is writing new music, but fans won't be hearing it in the way they might expect.

The legendary singer is among a long list of artists penning original songs for a Broadway musical about popular Nickelodeon character Spongebob Squarepants. His involvement might sound bizarre, but Bowie did voice a character for the hit TV series eight years ago.

Other musicians taking part include Cyndi Lauper, TI, John Legend, Panic! At the Disco, The Flaming Lips and Aerosmith bandmates Steven Tyler and Joe Perry, and the musical is expected to reach the Broadway stage in late 2016.

Producers are describing it as a "rousing tale of a simple sea sponge who faces the unfathomble...a celebration of unbridled hope, unexpected heroes and pure theatrical invention".

"Life on Mars" singer Bowie ended a 10-year hiatus when he released The Next Day in 2013 and has since been working on a stage production based on his 1976 film The Man Who Fell to Earth, in which he played alcoholic alien Thomas Newton.

David Bowie's Lazarus is hotly-awaited by critics

The play, titled Lazarus and co-written with Irish playwright Enda Walsh, will feature new songs and fresh arrangements of older classics. It premieres at the New York Theatre Workshop in December.