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George Michael Covered Editorial Playlist image 2022

Self Esteem, Years & Years and more cover George Michael songs for Pride Month

28 June 2022, 12:49 | Written by Cerys Kenneally

Apple Music has launched George Michael Covered, a Pride Month playlist that sees Self Esteem, Years & Years and more reimagine songs by the late artist.

George Michael Covered is a new Apple Music playlist launched to coincide with Pride Month, and features contributions from nine artists. Self Esteem covers "Praying For Time", while Years & Years reimagines "Outside". The playlist also includes covers from MNEK, Jake Shears, Pale Waves, serpentwithfeet and more.

Speaking about her song choice and memories of George Michael, Self Esteem's Rebecca Lucy Taylor said, "I don’t think I can remember when I first became aware of George Michael. I’m only just learning now what an absolute genius George Michael was, which I’m slightly embarrassed to admit, but it’s also one of the nice things about life, isn’t it. I’m getting treated now to the catalogue of George Michael ... I only just heard "Praying for Time" in the last couple of years. My mate sent it to me and was like, ‘These lyrics!’ I still can’t believe them. Recording this has been gobsmacking in a way. It is talking things that are hot-button topics right now, and it was 1990. And that’s what George always did. I see now he could see through the bullshit and call the bullshit out. There’s a bit of me that tries to do that, too. I’m learning that the more successful I get, the more brave I have to be—and I can’t believe someone as big and famous as him was so brave. Because the scrutiny and the fucking piss-taking, to still just be your authentic self … no one gives him credit for that. He was hard as nails."

Years & Years' Olly Alexander added, "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."

George Michael Covered is available to stream on Apple Music now.
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