Queen legend on why George Michael ‘wasn’t suitable’ to replace Freddie Mercury | Music | Entertainment


On this day in 1992, George Michael stunned the audience and assorted watching rock superstars when he joined Queen on stage to perform Somebody To Love during the Freddie Mercury tribute concert at Wembley Stadium. Brian May called his vocals “staggering” and the superstars watching (and also performing that night) included Elton John, Roger Daltrey (of The Who), Tony Iommi (of Black Sabbath), Paul Young, Annie Lennox, Lisa Stansfield, Robert Plant (of Led Zeppelin), Joe Elliott (of Def Leppard) and Phil Collins, Axl Rose and Slash (of Guns N’ Roses), and Liza Minnelli. At the time rumours were rife that the British supergroup would ask George to step in as their new frontman. SCROLL DOWN TO WATCH GEORGE MICHAEL STUN DAVID BOWIE AND SEAL DURING REHEARSALS

Freddie’s death in November 1991 devastated the star’s fans and friends worldwide. He also left his band without a frontman.

Before his illness started to take its toll on touring and recording, Queen was still riding high after Live Aid and the Magic World Tour. Was there some way the group could still go on?

At the 1992 Wembley tribute concert, the biggest stars in music took to the stage to perform with Taylor, May and John Deacon but only one had everyone talking about him taking over from Freddie

Freddie himself had playfully poked fun at Michael’s singing when he was talking of his great admiration for Aretha Franklin.

He said: “She must have one of the best voices ever and she sings like a dream. I wish I could sing half as well as she does…

“I’d love Aretha to sing Somebody To Love, actually… But as for me trying to sing with her? Well, she hasn’t approached me yet! I’m mad that George Michael did a duet with her. I could have done it better!”

Michael called his appearance at the Freddie tribute concert the show: “probably the proudest, proudest moment for me of my career, because it was me living out a childhood fantasy, I suppose, to sing one of Freddie’s songs in front of 80,000 people. It was a really strange mixture of incredible pride and real sadness for me.”

However, there was never any realistic possibility that he would take over as the new Queen frontman – and not just because he had his own phenomenally successful career.

Roger Taylor later said: “I remember hearing the rumours, but it wouldn’t have suited us. George wasn’t really used to working with a live band. When he heard the power he had behind him in rehearsal, he couldn’t believe it. He thought he was on Concorde or something.”


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