Wham!'s Andrew Ridgeley says releasing a previously unreleased track in the late singer's honour would not be appropriate.
George Michael reportedly died leaving three albums of unreleased material in his vaults.
It is well known that Michael never completed a sequel to his 1990 album Listen Without Prejudice Vol 1, though several tracks intended for Vol 2 later appeared on the HIV/AIDS charity album Red Hot + Dance.
He also worked on an album called Trojan Souls in the early ’90s, which was supposed to feature vocals from Stevie Wonder, Elton John, Sade, Seal, Bryan Ferry and Janet Jackson. This too was never finished, though several tracks which were apparently intended for the album have since leaked online.
The Daily Mirror reports that two other nearly-finished albums were scrapped by the singer: one provisionally titled ‘Extended Plaything’, and another provisionally titled ‘White Light’, which is the name of a single Michael released in 2012.
Michael’s former Wham! bandmate Andrew Ridgeley has spoken out against a campaign to reissue ‘Careless Whisper’ in the singer’s honour. He also told a fan on Twitter that releasing a previously unreleased track would be inappropriate, saying: “No, #GM controlled all his output. I, nor anyone else have the right to transgress that principle.”
Since news of George Michael’s death broke, many of his songs have returned to the UK iTunes Top Songs chart as fans download them again so they can pay tribute. ‘Careless Whisper’, which sits at Number 16 on the chart, is currently his most popular hit on the chart.
During his lifetime, Michael said he was “puzzled” by the song’s enduring popularity.
Michael’s death was announced on Christmas Day by his publicist, who said the 53-year-old artist had “passed away peacefully at home”.