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Freddie Mercury: George Michael's secret double heartbreak at Freddie tribute show

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Freddie Mercury: George Michael's secret double heartbreak at Freddie tribute show
On April 20, 1992, the world was still mourning (and celebrating) Freddie Mercury at the star-studded memorial concert at Wembley Stadium. George Michael was one of the undeniable highlights of the night as his beautiful and emotive voice soared over Queen’s Somebody To Love. Nobody knew at the time that the British singer’s heart was breaking twice that night, and just how much the words of that song meant to him. SCROLL DOWN TO WATCH THAT ICONIC PERFORMANCE
Even George himself later admitted that it became the best-known performance of his life as he poured all of his artistry and emotion into what he called “the proudest, proudest moment for me of my career.”

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.

READ MORE: Freddie Mercury cats: Incredible last-ever pic of star shows final days in bed with Delilah

In the 2016 documentary Freedom, which he made just before his own untimely death, George opened up about everything he was dealing with on stage.

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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.

George said: “I was happier than I’ve ever been in my entire life. Fame, money all the things you know. Everything else just kind of paled by comparison. To finally at 27-years-old, be waking up in bed with someone who loves you, you know, and Anselmo was absolutely that.”

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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.

George later said hwo Anselmo changed his life: “He broke down my Victorian restraint and really showed me how to live, how to relax, how to enjoy life… He was the first person I had ever loved, and I discovered he loved me too.”

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.

George was already a worldwide star and recognised as a great vocalist in 1992, but nobody knew at the time what had inspired his extraordinary performance at The Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert for AIDS Awareness. 

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.

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“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

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Freddie Mercury: George Michael's secret double heartbreak at Freddie tribute show
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