Elton John remembered the late singer George Michael during his Beats 1 radio show, Rocket Hour. “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,” John said. “One of the best in the world.”
John recalled his friendship with Michael, the first time he heard Wham!’s “Wake Me Up Before You Go Go,” and a particularly outrageous cameo he made at a the pop duo’s final gig. “I played at the last Wham! concert dressed as Ronald McDonald for some reason at Wembley Stadium and I bought him a 3-wheeler car, with him and Andy, and I put their names on the front of it and put some fairy dice it was a real clapped out thing,” John said.
“I just want to remember him for his wonderful music and his kindness, which people are commenting on. He was the kindest, most generous man, and did it without wanting any publicity. I’ve seen him being so kind to so many people. I’ll miss him so much for his music but more than anything for his humanity.”
John played several Michael songs throughout the show, opening with 1998’s “Outside” and later spinning “One More Try” and “Freedom ’90.” Those two tracks framed a seamless tribute set that included Leon Russell’s “A Song For You,” Nina Simone’s “I Put a Spell on You,” Ray Charles’ “Drown in My Own Tears,” Bruce Springsteen’s “Streets of Philadelphia” and Bob Dylan’s “Blowin’ In the Wind.”
“I don’t get jealous of many songs, but I’m jealous of this song,” John said of Michael’s “One More Try.” “I’d love to have written this.”