Plans for a charity tribute concert for the late George Michael have been quashed after the star’s family refused to give the gig the green light.
Childline founder Dame Esther Rantzen has spoken of her desire to honour the singer, who immensely supported the charity over the years, and expressed her disappointment at George’s family’s refusal to approve it.
Speaking to The Mirror, Esther explained: “There will no longer be a tribute concert because his family said no.
“It was a real shame as I’d have loved to celebrate his music and give the fans a chance to say goodbye – and it would have been to benefit his favourite charity, too.
“Once the family say no there’s nothing we can do.”
Esther had repeatedly spoken about her plans to organise a tribute concert, and had even started the process of securing the Royal Albert Hall for the show.
Just days after George’s death on Christmas Day last year, Esther said: “I think it would be wonderful to celebrate him with a tribute concert next year.
“For years now he has been the most extraordinarily generous philanthropist, giving money to Childline, but he was determined not to make his generosity public so no-one outside the charity knew how much he gave to the nation’s most vulnerable children.
“Over the years he gave us millions and we were planning next year, as part of our 30th anniversary celebrations to create, we hoped, a big concert in tribute to him – to his artistry, to his wonderful musicality but also to thank him for the 100s of 1,000s of children he helped through supporting Childline.”
However, in April a source revealed that Esther was struggling to get approval from George’s family, telling The Mirror at the time: “The most important thing about organising this is that the family approve of everything.
“Esther and the organisers didn’t want to jump the gun and start making arrangements before they had spoken with them.
“At the moment there is a big possibility it won’t happen because the family aren’t on board. The [upcoming] meeting will either make or break plans.”
George donated millions of pounds to Childline and multiple other charitable causes over the years, and even gave the proceeds of his 1996 hit ‘Jesus to a Child’ to the charity.
Yahoo Celeb UK have contacted George estate’s reps for comment.