BBC Radio 2 listeners vote for The Nation’s Favourite George Michael song
To mark an incredible 40 years of his music, Radio 2 will celebrate one of the world’s best loved singer songwriters, George Michael, with a series of special programmes
"As well as being an amazing performer, George’s songwriting was a thing of beauty. From love to heartbreak, joy to sadness, there’s a song from his extensive catalogue to suit every mood and emotional need.” — Claudia Winkleman
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Radio 2 has launched a vote for listeners to discover the nation’s favourite George Michael song from his time in Wham!, as a solo artist, and when he sang with other stars as a part of a duet.
The vote - part of Radio 2 Celebrates Songwriting season – is now open . It closes at the end of Claudia Winkleman’s Saturday show at 1pm on Saturday 11th December. To be eligible for inclusion on the voting list, the song must have charted in the UK Top 75 and have been composed by George Michael, either on his own or as a co-writer. You can vote and see the full terms and conditions here
A three-hour special, The George Michael Countdown, hosted by Scott Mills, will count down the results of the chart with the Top 40 songs as voted for by listeners on Radio 2 (1-4pm on New Year’s Day). The station also broadcasts George Michael - Older At 25 and George Michael At The BBC, both of which will be available on BBC Sounds from Saturday 1 January. And all the programmes are available on BBC Sounds live and for 30 days after broadcast.
Claudia Winkleman says: “As well as being an amazing performer, George’s songwriting was a thing of beauty. From love to heartbreak, joy to sadness, there’s a song from his extensive catalogue to suit every mood and emotional need.”
Jeff Smith, Head of Music, Radio 2, says: “George Michael is one of Radio 2 listeners’ most loved artists. He was a master lyricist and composer and his music, from the early hits with Wham! in the early 80s through to his later work, continue to have a timeless appeal.”
Wham! had their first UK Singles Chart hit in 1982 with Young Guns (Go For It), written by George, which reached number three in the UK. The artist - born Georgios Kyriacos Panayiotou - formed Wham! with his friend Andrew Ridgeley in 1981. They had five UK Number One singles and ten Top 10s, with their singles spending a combined total of 203 weeks in the Top 75. George launched his solo career with Careless Whisper and enjoyed seven UK number one singles and 23 UK Top 10s, with his songs spending 309 weeks in the Top 75.
The song selection to vote for are as follows (* Please note, the artist is George Michael except where mentioned in brackets):
To be broadcast on Radio 2 in the New Year, George Michael - Older At 25 is a two part documentary narrated by Melanie C (9pm-10pm, Saturday 1 and Sunday 2 January 2022).
In May 1996, following years of highly-publicised court battles, George finally released Older, his first album in six years. It would become his biggest-selling studio set of all time in the UK, leading to six Top Three singles accompanied by some of the most iconic videos of all time.
George was back on top, pushing his artistry to the highest level and winning a new generation of fans. Whilst both the creation and success of previous albums Faith and Listen Without Prejudice: Vol.1 have been heavily documented, Older has yet to be fully re-examined and appreciated as an incredible body of work, not just of one of the UK's greatest singers, but of one of the world’s all-time musical greats.
Melanie C is a lifelong fan of George’s, and her own career with Spice Girls launched in the same year Older was released, catapulting her to worldwide fame. Melanie will look at what happened in that six-year gap, and how the album’s release and success unfolded. The programmes will include plays of all six singles from the album - Jesus To A Child, Fastlove, Older, Spinning The Wheel, Star People and You Have Been Loved, plus other bonus tracks released around the album such as Desafinado, remixes and live tracks from his legendary Unplugged set.
Setting the scene of 1996 as well as reliving personal memories will be the album’s Fastlove producer Jon Douglas, lifelong friend and Wham! bandmate Shirlie Kemp, video director Vaughan Arnell, Bananarama, Rufus Wainwright, Russell T. Davies, Matt Lucas, Shaznay Lewis, Mutya Buena (with who he duetted with for the song This Is Not Real Love), Holly Johnson, Michelle Visage, Jack Savoretti, James Blunt and more.
Relive the excitement of 25 years ago and fall in love with George all over again through his music and by hearing cherished memories from those who knew him, worked with him and adored him.
Melanie C says: “George’s songwriting skills were second to none, as we can hear when we listen to Older, an incredible body of work. I was lucky enough to meet George a number of times and I’m thrilled to be able to tell the story of Older through the eyes of his fellow musicians, as well as friends.”
George Michael At The BBC on Radio 2 (7pm-9pm, Sunday 2 January, 2022) celebrates the life and career of George Michael through his performances and interviews on the BBC, from his first Wham! Appearance on Saturday Superstore in 1982 and throughout his entire career. Also featured are George’s conversations from throughout his career with Michael Parkinson, Paul Gambaccini, Vicki Wickham and Steve Wright.
In the second hour, for the first time since its original broadcast in December 1996, listeners will hear the exclusive An Audience With George Michael concert which took place at the BBC’s Radio Theatre in Broadcasting House, London. Listeners will be able to hear tracks including Father Figure, You Have Been Loved and Freedom.
The George Michael Countdown is produced by Mark Simpson for BBC Audio
George Michael - Older At 25 is produced by Ste Softly for Mostest Productions
George Michael at the BBC is produced by Bob McDowell for BBC Audio
Source BBC Radio 2
November 29, 2021 4:00am ET by BBC Radio 2