What Could Have Been: Queen & George Michael Without Prejudice
"Sometimes the clothes do not make the man."
- George Michael "Freedom! '90"
I admit it. Count me among those who listened to George Michael with prejudice. That was until he released his album "Listen Without Prejudice Vol. 1" in 1990 and I heard his brilliant and moving song "Praying For Time". It was then that I finally opened my eyes and saw him for the artist he really was.
In the spring of 1992 several artists appeared on stage with the surviving members of Queen as part of the Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert held at Wembley Stadium in London. It was a bittersweet moment for the artists as well as the fans. We were witnessing an amazing collection of classic Queen songs performed with an array of A-list rock artists like David Bowie, Elton John and Robert Plant. Then out from the side of the stage comes George Michael to sing.
At this point I had taken more of an interest in Michael. I no longer judged him as teen pop star first, musician second. As it turned out he came through with flying colors. His performance of the Queen classic "Somebody To Love" was dazzling.
Soon after the concert there were rumors that Michael may end up fronting Queen permanently. It never happened, obviously, and there never was a concrete explanation as to why. There are some rumors. One is that George asked the members of Queen to join but they turned down the offer, another that they asked George but he declined. A third rumor is that both sides agreed to form a new version of Queen but due to Michael's legal battles with his record label at the time he was prohibited from recording and releasing any music.
Whatever the case may be it is now a part of the past. George Michael has sadly passed away at the far-too-young age of 53. If you haven't yet I would urge you to go back and listen to his music one more time but this time listen without prejudice. You may be pleasantly surprised.