George Michael

While announcing a new world tour and album, openly-gay singer George Michael said that he wants to make up for letting gay teens down through his past drug-fuelled antics.

“It’s really a matter of thinking what can I do to contribute as a gay man,” he told journalists at a press conference at London’s Royal Opera House on Wednesday.

“… I have a serious problem with the fact that every time I would let myself down I felt definitely that I was letting young gay people down, because they would then witness the homophobia that is thrown at me and the wording of that homophobia and the language that is being used.”

The 47-year-old said that he plans to work with a “gay collective” and a number of guest stars on his next dance-themed album and will also undertake a tour backed by symphonic orchestras.

He added: “I want to make up for some of the damage that I have done in making myself so newsworthy and putting myself on the back foot enough that there was no room, or space, for me to defend gay children.”

Michael said that he is now on the straight and narrow following a number of accidents, arrests and even jail time as a result of driving while under the influence of drugs.

He said that he plans to tour “…sooner rather than later, to keep that impetus, to keep driving me to take care of myself and to appreciate what I have”.

Michael’s ‘Symphonica: The Orchestral Tour’ will encompass more than 15 countries and will see the star perform not only a selection of his songs but also some of his favourite songs from other artists.

Some of the venues already lined up include the O2 Arena in Berlin, Piazza Santa Croce in Florence, Palau San Jordi in Barcelona, London’s legendary Royal Albert Hall and more to be announced.

The songs will be re-worked and re-arranged for the orchestra that will accompany the singer at each location.

The tour kicks off in Prague on the 22nd of August. No South African dates have been announced yet.

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