In 1992 he was a global superstar and heartthrob, but his sexuality was still a secret. He had finally found love, but it was going to be cruelly snatched away from him.
George sang Somebody To Love that night to Anselmo Feleppa. Out of the 72,000 people and millions watching on TV, only the two of them knew that they were in a loving relationship – and that Anselmo had just found out he had AIDS.
He said: “I went out there knowing I had to honor Freddie Mercury and I had to pray for Anselmo.
“The performance most well known in my career was sung to my lover who was dying. I just wanted to die inside.
“I was so overwhelmed by singing the songs of this man I had worshipped as a child, who had passed away in the same manner my first living partner was going to experience.”
George and Anselmo’s romance had seemed like a fairytale at first. Their eyes met in January 25, 1991 when the British star took to the stage at Rock in Rio to sing Careless Whisper and spotted the handsome Brazilian in the crowd.
But Anselmo started feeling ill later in the year and then tested positive for HIV just before Christmas, in the days when it was still almost always a death sentence.
And so, at the Freddie Mercury concert as millions mourned a man who had died from AIDS, George alone knew as he sang the words, “Can anybody find me someone to love?”, that he had already found that person but they, too, were going to die exactly like Freddie.
Anselmo died from a brain hemorrhage less than a year later, in March 1993. The man who showed George it was possible to love and be loved also inspired one of the star’s most iconic songs, Jesus To A Child.
Even so, Taylor later said he was “magnificent” that night while May called him “staggering.”
May said afterward: “I would have to say it was a thrill to work with George Michael. Without any kind of falseness, he was one of the great surprises to most people of the evening, I know. It wasn’t a surprise to me because I knew he could do it. I knew he had that in him.
“In addition to the great delicacy which he has — the great control, great dynamics — he has enormous power. And from the moment he stepped into the rehearsal room and was doing Somebody to Love, we went, ‘Whoa.'”
And then, when George stepped on stage and sang directly to Anselmo, a piece of music history was made.
This article originally appeared on Daily Express :: Entertainment Feed