A George Michael tribute artist has revealed how music officials invited him to do a European tour hours after the star’s tragic death.
Robert Taylor, 37, from Walton-le-Dale, near Preston, was devastated when he woke to at 2am on Boxing Day to find messages and condolences on his phone informing him the singer songwriter passed away on Christmas Day.
Mr Taylor, who was feeding his newborn daughter Elsie-Rey when he first saw the news said: “ My phone was going mad and at first I thought it was a prank but then I saw it on official news websites.
“I couldn’t believe it - I was looking forward to his new album. He has been such a big part of my life. I was gutted.
“Some people in America actually believe I am him and had sent condolence messages to my artist Facebook page.
“ My friends had been trying to ring me.”
But the calls quickly turned into demand to hear the late singer’s music.
The married father-of-two has spent the last seven years belting out classics such as “Freedom”, “Faith” and “Careless Whisper” in venues across the UK.
Within hours the professional singer was asked by promoters to give George’s grieving fans the opportunity to see his music performed live in a European tour, including dates in Germany and Austria.
An agency has also asked him to take part in a charity single.
He said: “It’s an amazing opportunity and a perfect tribute to George, and for people to see his songs performed live once again. A lot of people are rediscovering his music.
“The Wham track ‘Everything She Wants’ always goes down really well with the crowd, as well as their version of ‘Freedom’.”