Diana, Princess of Wales told George Michael his song was one of her favourites

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  • Diana, Princess of Wales
    Diana, Princess of Wales
    First wife of Charles, Prince of Wales (1961-1997)
  • George Michael
    George Michael
    British singer (1963-2016)

Diana, Princess of Wales told George Michael that his song You Have Been Loved was one of her favourites, says singer Shirlie Holliman.

The track featured on the late singer’s third studio album Older, which is being celebrated 25 years on from its first release in 1996 with a two part documentary exploring the record’s success.

The BBC Radio 2 documentary, Older At 25, features a host of famous faces and friends of the pop star – who reflect on memories, his impact on the world of music and reveal details about his life and career.

George Michael in concert – London
The singer died on Christmas Day in 2016 at the age of 53 (Max Nash/PA)

Speaking in the documentary, the star’s close friend and Wham! backing singer Holliman, said: “I do remember George calling me and telling me that Princess Diana called him, and she said it was one of her favourite songs.

“And I think in a way that was healing for him as well and gave him that pride that ultimately a songwriter, after pouring your heart out, you want that.

“You want to know that people appreciate it. You want to know that people understand that.”

The pop star was close friends with Diana and attended her funeral in 1997 alongside fellow musician Sir Elton John.

George Michael death
Sir Elton John and George Michael attend Diana, Princess of Wales’ funeral (Adam Butler/PA)

Bananarama band members Sara Dallin and Keren Woodward also reflected on the “hilarious times” they would have with Michael in the documentary, recalling how there would be “impromptu parties and kitchen discos” where the singer would play his own music, including unreleased material.

Dallin and Woodward also spoke about Michael’s “heartache” when his partner Anselmo Feleppa died, which inspired the melancholic tribute song Jesus To A Child from the album Older.

Elsewhere in the documentary, global superstar Ed Sheeran described the impact the late singer had on the music industry.

He said: “In 1996 when Older came out, I was five years old. I think George Michael is one of the best songwriters that England has produced and he’s just a fantastic performer, fantastic songwriter.

“As a live performer, he was super captivating, I loved watching videos of him all throughout his career. He’s incredible.

“I think George has influenced pretty much anyone that’s in music really because it’s sort of travelled through the generations, but it’s a great great loss to the music industry.”

George Michael in concert – Denmark
Fellow musicians reflect on the impact George Michael had on the music industry within the documentary (Yui Mok/PA)

Michael died on Christmas Day in 2016 at the age of 53.

The documentary, which is narrated by Spice Girl Melanie C, also features comedian Matt Lucas, Coldplay frontman Chris Martin, screenwriter Russell T Davies, singer Stevie Wonder and many more stars.

Melanie C said: “George’s songwriting skills were second to none, as we can hear when we listen to Older, an incredible body of work.

“I was lucky enough to meet George a number of times and I’m thrilled to be able to tell the story of Older through the eyes of his fellow musicians, as well as friends.”

George Michael – Older at 25 will air on BBC Radio 2 from 9-10pm, January 1-2 2022 and on BBC Sounds for 30 days afterwards.

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