George Michael’s reworked single “Fantasy” featuring Nile Rodgers premiered on UK radio today (listen to it HERE). The late English singer originally recorded the song in the late ’80s, and it was slated to be featured on his second solo album, Listen Without Prejudice Vol.1, Sony Music said in a press release. The song was one of Michael’s favorites and was released on the B-Side of the single “Freedom! ’90” in the United States and on the U.K. version of the single “Waiting For That Day In 1990.”
During Michael’s 1991 “Cover To Cover” tour, concertgoers were given the song for free on cassette tapes. Ten years later, the pop star sang the song during his “25 Live” tour.
Prior to his death in December 2016, Michael decided he would launch the reissue of Listen Without Prejudice Vol.1/MTV Unplugged with the single “Fantasy.” Something about the song was special to Michael, and according to Sony Music: “He contacted the hit-maker Nile Rodgers, the only man on the planet who could give ‘Fantasy’ more funk than it already had. Both George and Nile spoke the same musical language, were on the same page and the rest is history.”
Listen Without Prejudice Vol 1/MTV Unplugged will be re-released on Oct. 20. The original performance took place in London in 1996 and features song from his days in Wham! up through and including music from his 1996 album Older.
Coinciding with the album’s release, Sony Music, Channel 4 and BBC Worldwide commissioned the documentary Freedom, which is narrated by Michael and was the project he was working on before he passed away. The film features a slew of musicians and supermodels, including Rodgers, Stevie Wonder, Elton John, Liam Gallagher, Naomi Campbell, Linda Evangelista, Mary J. Blige, and Tony Bennett.
Michael died on Dec. 25, 2016, at his home in England at the age of 53. His death was attributed to an enlarged heart with myocarditis and a fatty liver. Over the course of his four decade-spanning career, he sold 120 million albums.