Years and Years, Billy Porter and MNEK are among the artists to have covered George Michael songs for a new Apple Music playlist to coincide with Pride month.
The back catalogue of the late pop star has been made available in Spatial Audio for the first time and can be streamed on Apple Music.
Other LGBTQIA+ artists to cover the ‘Club Tropicana’ singers greatest hits include Jake Shears, Pale Waves, Calum Scott and Serpentwithfeet.
Olly Alexander of Years Years, who covered ‘Outside’, said: “One of the things I love most about George Michael was his ability to own his narrative. He was a huge, huge star. I’m sure he struggled with some of the attention and issues that come with worldwide fame, and he still remained so iconic, so true to who he was.
“He still had fun with it. He was always trying new things and taking risks and unashamedly himself. And I take so much inspiration from that … He got arrested in 1998—I think the terminology is ‘soliciting a police officer in a public toilet’—then goes and writes a song about it. And it’s such a banger. Wow! I just think it’s so incredible for him to just own that narrative and really go, ‘Yeah, I like to have sex outside.’ And it’s such a bop.”
Billy Porter, who covered ‘Monkey’, added: “This was a white boy who could sing. This was a white boy who really had soul, but he wasn’t trying to be Black, he wasn’t trying to sound Black. It was like he was subliminally speaking to all of us through his music … There was an inherent sass in it that not a lot of men were doing.”
Apple Music and GAY TIMES celebrated the release by hosting a special Pride party up on the roof of The Standard hotel in London on Wednesday (29.06.22).
LGBTQIA+ guests such as ‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’ stars Ella Vaday and Kitty Scott-Claus and electropop singer Girli.
The event also featured DJ sets from ABSOLUTE and Nimmo as well as performances from gay dance troupe Sue Veneers Club.