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Late George Michael returns with new song in Last Christmas

LONDON – A new track recorded by George Michael in his last studio sessions before his 2016 death was released on Nov 6, in which the late British pop idol sings about social ills.

This Is How (We Want You To Get High), his first original material since 2012, will play at the end of the festive film Last Christmas, itself inspired by Michael’s solo tunes and hits from his Wham! days.

One of the best-selling artists of all time, Michael, who rose to fame in the 1980s as part of pop duo Wham!, died of natural causes at his home on Christmas Day 2016, aged 53.

A press release said: “The previously unreleased track, which was recorded during George’s final studio sessions, is his first original material to be shared for seven years.

“The lyrics, written exclusively by George, see the star addressing society’s ills with his trademark blend of self-deprecation and wry humour.”

Against a catchy melody, Michael’s distinctive vocals belt out lines like “Your daddy was a drinker”, “My daddy was a toker”, “I will always try to get my life together” and “This is how we want you to get by on your sorry lives”.

An accompanying lyric video features animation of Michael over the years.

He began working on the song in 2012 and it was finalised in the studio in 2015.

Opening here on Nov 28, Last Christmas stars Emilia Clarke as a woman working as an elf in a Christmas shop and takes its name from the 1986 Wham! festive tune.

The soundtrack for the romantic comedy, co-written by British actress Emma Thompson, features 12 Michael solo songs and three Wham! tracks.

“Emma had a meeting with him and he was intrigued because... the intention was never to make his story, it was to make a story inspired by a song,” said producer David Livingstone, referring to a meeting Thompson had with Michael to discuss a screenplay.

Thompson heard the new tune and three other unreleased Michael songs last year when working on the soundtrack.

Livingstone said: “It’s not like a song that’s been dug out of the vaults, that’s been sitting there unused because it wasn’t good enough. It was a song that he intended to do something with and this (the film) is its new home. (It) does feel like it’s tailor-made.” - REUTERS

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