George Michael impressing David Bowie and Seal with Freddie Mercury song is so powerful - video

23 April 2021, 14:52 | Updated: 11 July 2022, 15:16

George Michael rehearses Queen's 'Somebody To Love' as David Bowie and Seal watch on during rehearsals for the 1991 Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert. Picture: Youtube / Eagle Vision & Queen Productions Ltd

By Giorgina Ramazzotti

George Michael singing an incredible version of Queen's 'Somebody To Love' while an impressed David Bowie and Seal look on, is an incredible moment of musical history caught on camera.

The video sees George Michael in rehearsal with Queen just hours before the Tribute Concert for Freddie Mercury at Wembley - where he bravely stepped into Freddie's shoes to sing the vocally challenging hit.

George, then just 28-years-old, is seen giving a pitch perfect rendition of Queen's iconic song 'Somebody To Love' as David Bowie and Seal, who had snuck into the rehearsal, stand together to watch his performance.

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The footage was taken just before George and Bowie took to the stage at Wembley to perform in front of one billion people worldwide on April 20, 1992.

David Bowie and Seal look on, smiling, as the room is left blown away by the performance.

Smoking a cigarette as George sings, David Bowie watches the star tackle the Queen song, accompanied by Brian May on lead guitar and a chorus of backing singers.

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As Queen continue to play 'Somebody To Love', Bowie moves and nod his head in time with the beat, culminating with the 'Space Oddity' singer breaking out in a huge grin as George hits the high notes of the notoriously difficult song.

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Seal stands alongside Bowie, smiling appreciatively and mouthing the lyrics, and David Bowie is left looking visibly moved, as the pair clap enthusiastically when the song comes to an end.

David Bowie and Seal watch George Michael's performance. Picture: Youtube / Eagle Vision & Queen Productions Ltd

David Bowie was an old hand at Freddie Mercury songs - he had dueted with the Queen frontman on their 1981 track 'Under Pressure' - but it was George's standout performance on the night that brought the former Wham! star's vocal talent to the world's attention.

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Despite more established artists taking to the stage including Elton John, Annie Lennox, Guns N' Roses frontman Axl Rose and David Bowie himself, many media outlets and fans hailed George's performance as the stand out act of the night.

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Writing about the The Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert for AIDS Awareness concert, German publication Deutsche Welle said: "George Michael undeniably offered the best performance of the evening.

George rehearsing 'Sombody To Love' with Queen's Brain May on bass guitar. Picture: Youtube / Eagle Vision & Queen Productions Ltd
The Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert at Wembley on April 20, 1992. Picture: Getty

"With his version of the Queen classic hit 'Somebody To Love,' he captivated fans just like Freddie had during his peak."

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Brian May, who performed alongside Queen bandmates Roger Taylor and John Deacon, came out in support of George's tribute song, saying: "[He] was the best [at the gig]. There’s a certain note in his voice when he did 'Somebody to Love' that was pure Freddie."

George Michael later said of the night at Wembley in 1992, that it was the "most important performance of my life.”

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However, years after the performance George revealed that he had been dealing with a tragedy of his own during the famous concert - his secret boyfriend Anselmo Feleppa was dying of AIDS, the same illness Freddie Mercury had died from just five months earlier.

In the star's last ever recorded interview for his documentary George Michael: Freedom released in 2017, he recalls the pain of going on stage with his secret lover watching in the audience - and no-one but himself and Anselmo knowing about the diagnosis.

Read more: How George Michael sang to dying "secret first love" at Freddie Mercury tribute

Speaking about his April 1992 performance of Queen's 'Somebody To Love', George - who had not yet come out about his sexuality to friends and family - said: “I went out there knowing I had to honour Freddie Mercury and I had to pray for Anselmo.”

"The performance most well known in my career was sung to my lover who was dying.”

“I just wanted to die inside. I was so overwhelmed by singing the songs of this man I had worshipped as a child, who had passed away in the same manner my first living partner was going to experience," he said.