George Michael was ‘puzzled’ by popularity one of his most iconic songs

Late singer-songwriter spoke about the song's enduring popularity in a 2009 interview.

George Michael was “puzzled” by the enduring popularity of ‘Careless Whisper’, according to a rediscovered interview with the late pop icon.

Michael’s death was announced on Christmas Day by his publicist, who said the 53-year-old artist had “passed away peacefully at home”.

Since news of his 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 11 on the chart, is currently his most popular hit.

Though it was co-written by Michael with his Wham! bandmate Andrew Ridgeley, ‘Careless Whisper’ was released in 1984 as Michael’s debut solo single. It reached Number One in both the UK and US and sold over six million copies worldwide.

“I’m still a bit puzzled why it’s made such an impression on people,” Michael said in a 2009 interview with The Big Issue. “Is it because so many people have cheated on their partners? Is that why they connect with it? I have no idea, but it’s ironic that this song – which has come to define me in some way – should have been written right at the beginning of my career when I was still so young.”

“I was only 17 and didn’t really know much about anything – and certainly nothing much about relationships,” Michael added.

Read more: R.I.P. George Michael – For me and a generation, he was British pop music

Since news broke of his death three days ago, various accounts have shone a light on how Michael had anonymously raised hundreds of thousands of pounds for charity during his life.

Pointless presenter Richard Osman shared an extraordinary example of Michael’s secret benevolence. During his time working behind-the-scenes on Deal or No Deal, Osman said the late singer had secretly donated £15,000 to a contestant who needed the money for IVF treatment.

Meanwhile, Liam Gallagher has hit back at a Twitter user who made a joke at the late singer-songwriter’s expense.

READ: Prince’s 1994 message of support for George Michael