Apple Music Announces ‘George Michael Covered’ Playlist to Celebrate Pride

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Apple Music today announces a special playlist to coincide with Pride Month – “George Michael Covered”. To celebrate the legacy of George Michael, Apple Music has asked some of the most exciting and diverse artists in music today to reimagine songs from its iconic catalog.

Each artist was chosen because in addition to being huge fans of George, they reflect his hard work and songwriting excellence. The artists are: Years & Years, MNEK, SELF ESTEEM, Jake Shears, Billy Porter, Pale Waves, Calum Scott, Tiana Major9 and Serpentwithfeet.

The covers, all available in Spatial Audio, include personal interpretations of tracks such as the classics “Faith”, “Careless Whisper”, “Fastlove”, “Outside” and many more.

Listen to the “George Michael Covered” playlist on Spatial Audio here. George Michael’s catalog is now also available to rediscover in Spatial Audio.

The featured artists have shared with Apple Music their memories of George Michael, his music and on the cover of their choice:

Billy Porter, who covers ‘Monkey’, says: “He was a white boy who could sing. He was a white boy who really had a soul, but he wasn’t trying to be black, he wasn’t trying to ring black. It was like he was talking to us subliminally through his music… There was an inherent sass to it that few men did. I love the subversive energy of what he’s about. act because in the queer and gay scene then, we used to try to ease some of the pain that was the AIDS crisis. We came together knowing and understanding that this little pill, that little ecstasy pill that we were taking, could carry us around. We were with our friends, we were with the community for the weekend, and then we could come back on Monday and go back to fighting. And you know what happened. past, what happens a lot with drugs is that it’s gone too far. I think the song just speaks to me that way. It’s t without judgment and not about shame. It’s about saying, ‘I have to move on now. I have to be an adult and move on. I have to face all things. I have to save room for the good stuff, and I have to save room for the really complicated and horrible stuff at the same time. Everything belongs, and that’s what life is. I chose this song as a subliminal message to anyone who might be struggling, ‘It’s okay, and it’ll be fine’. Go ahead and pull yourself together because we have work to do and we have to be sober to do it”.

Serpentwithfeet, who covers ‘Kissing A Fool’, says: “George’s career and impact reminds me that I don’t have to leave my heart behind. I think in many industries we are told to leave some parts of ourselves at home. And I think what he did was to remind me that it’s better to bring your whole being to the office, your whole being to the studio. I chose to resume ” Kissing a Fool”. There’s a phrase I think of, “You’ll never find peace of mind until you listen to your heart. And I think that’s just a great reminder for everyone that the path to peace, the path to joy, is to listen to your heart.”

Olly Alexander of Years & Years, who covers ‘Outside’, said: “One of the things I love most about George Michael was his ability to own his story. He was a huge, huge star. I I’m sure he struggled with some of the attention and issues that come with world fame, and he always remained so iconic, so true to who he was. He always had fun with it. He always tried new things and taking risks and unashamed himself. And I take so much inspiration from that… He was arrested in 1998 – I think the terminology is “soliciting a police officer in a public restroom” – then go and write a song about it. And it’s so awesome. Wow! I just think it’s so amazing for him to own that narrative and really say, ‘Yeah, I like having sex outside. “And it’s such a bop.”

MNEK, who covers ‘Fastlove’, says, “What made George so special was just his ear. He was always an amazing songwriter. I don’t think anyone ever really realized that he wrote and produced his own material – and he was a genius. There was no one who made music quite like him… I loved it [the album] ‘Older’. And to me, George is just the epitome of a white man who can really transform him and respect him as a guest in R&B, dance, electro and black music, which he was clearly a fan of and really Well. “

SELF ESTEEM, who covers ‘Praying For Time’, says: “I don’t think I can remember when I first found out about George Michael. I’m a little worried because I think maybe that’s when Robbie Williams did ‘Freedom’.’ I just learned what an absolute genius George Michael was, which I’m a little embarrassed to admit, but it’s also one of the beautiful things about the life, right. George Michael’s catalog… I’ve only heard ‘Praying for Time’ in the last couple of years. My buddy sent it to me and said, ‘These lyrics!’ I still can’t believe them. Recording that was kind of amazing. He’s talking about hot topics right now, and that was 1990. And that’s what George has always done. I see now that he could see through the bulls**t and call the bulls**t. There’s a bit of me trying to do that too. I’m learning that the more I succeed, the braver I have to be – and i can’t believe someone as big and famous as him was so brave ’cause the scrutiny and the fucking fucking p**s, to just stay your authentic self… give credit. He was as tough as nails.”

Jake Shears, who covers ‘Amazing’, says: “George Michael gave me a license to have fun with music. I first discovered George when I was about four years old. Wham! was released in strength with ‘Wake Me Up Before I go, [which] was on MTV. I remember my older sisters watching it. And they were everywhere. Their faces were everywhere. You saw them on T-shirts in malls and on people. And I just remember thinking that I loved his voice and he was a very handsome man. I remember feeling really influenced and inspired by ‘Wham Rap! (Enjoy What You Do?)’ when I was doing the first Scissors stuff. I felt like it gave me license to have fun with the music we made and allowed me to get a little clunky with the writing. There’s a joy that I’ve connected to and identified with… There’s so many styles of George Michael that I use in my own voice. And so, it was fun to sing that song. Also, it made me realize, while singing it, how much of an influence he was for me. It’s an honor to be able to do that, and I really hope he’s digging somewhere.”

Heather Baron-Gracie of Pale Waves, who covers ‘Faith’, says: “I must have been around 12 when I first heard George Michael. It was through my dad. He told me featured a lot of great artists, and I think the first song he played me was ‘Careless Whisper.’ Immediately I thought, ‘That’s so cool. Who is he? George Michael so special is that he did everything himself. Everything he put out there was completely his own creative direction. He was very open about his sexuality; he was very unapologetic at that topic, and that’s how I strive to be. I think a lot of people look up to her and look up to her for that… The whole band immediately turned to “Faith.” is our favorite song from him. It’s obviously a challenge trying to do it justice, but we’ve integrated it into our own world and done the best we can. It was really fun to f area.

Tiana Major9, who covers ‘Careless Whisper’, says: “My concern was to make it successful. I chose to do ‘Careless Whisper’ because I wanted to do my own take on a classic. I wanted to pay homage to an icon- but I’d say my main concern when it came to recording “Careless Whisper” was nailing it, honestly. Just nailing it. I wanted to make sure it still sounded like a song I could sing today without let it be a cover. I wanted to do it my way.”

Calum Scott, who covers ‘One More Try’, says: “I wanted a challenge. His talent was undeniable. His writing and attention to detail, his performance – his voice is unmatched in tone, quality and consistency. He could act, write and produce – he was a one-stop-shop… People I’ve spoken to in the industry who have worked with or around him have said how humble or gracious he was, how how human he was. always putting himself down and thinking he could do better – and that’s something that I identify with a lot as an artist. Listening to his music shows how much he cared about what he What makes him even more special is all the charity work he did that he kept completely hidden. He was such a special person and should be celebrated every day.

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