Belfast Telegraph

Elton John uses radio show to pay emotional tribute to George Michael

Elton John dedicated a number of tracks on his online radio show to the late Wham! musician George Michael.

Elton John will use his online radio show to pay tribute to his "great friend" George Michael.

The 69-year-old is to dedicate several tracks on his Elton John's Rocket Hour show on Apple's Beats 1 network on Tuesday (07Feb17), to George, who passed away aged just 53 on Christmas Day (16).

Speaking about the former Wham! star, with whom he teamed with to release a charity single version of his track Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me in 1991, he says, "I wanted to do a little tribute to him on the show because not only was he a good friend, but he was probably one of the most brilliant songwriters this country's ever produced, and certainly one of the best vocalists ever. One of the best in the world."

Among the songs Elton will dedicate to his friend and musical contemporary are Nina Simone's I Put a Spell On You, Bruce Springsteen's Streets of Philadelphia and Bob Dylan's Blowin' In The Wind.

Elton also reveals how their friendship blossomed due to his admiration for George's musical ability.

"It was an amazing friendship based on music to start with, and I remember sitting in the car just off of Hyde Park listening to a cassette of 'Wake Me Up Before You Go Go' and I said, 'George, that's the nearest record I've heard to a Motown record for years and years.'

"It was such a great record, and he and I became great friends. I just want to remember him for his wonderful music and his kindness, which people are commenting on."

The two musicians' careers paralleled each others in many ways, with both coming out as gay late in their careers. Both singers also battled substance abuse problems.

George was found dead at his home in Oxfordshire, England, with investigators still yet to establish a cause of death after a first post-mortem proved inconclusive. The results of toxicology tests on the singer's body are still pending.

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