Robbie Williams pays tribute to John Farnham in AFL Grand Final performance

He also dedicated ‘Angels’ to the late Shane Warne, who he called “one of Australia’s greatest rockstars”

Robbie Williams headlined the live music roster at this year’s AFL Grand Final match, performing just under 20 minutes of his own hits, as well as a cover of John Farnham’s iconic 1986 hit ‘You’re The Voice’.

The AFL Grand Finals took place yesterday (September 24) at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG), with Williams’ set billed as the grand finale for the pre-match entertainment. The former Take That singer – flanked by a five-piece band, three-piece horn ensemble and trio of backup singers, as well as a huge group of dancers – kicked off with his 1997 hit ‘Let Me Entertain You’, before rolling into a medley consisting of ‘Rock DJ’, ‘Lost’ and ‘Feel’.

“This next song,” Williams said as the last notes of ‘Feel’ rung out, “is dedicated to one of Australia’s greatest rockstars: Shane Warne! Love you Warney!” He performed ‘Angels’ in tribute to the late cricketer, before switching his focus to another Australian icon, John Farnham. “The next song is the unofficial national anthem of Australia,” he said as the band kicked in, shouting the song out with “love to John and his family”.


Farnham’s tribute was timely, as the legendary rocker is currently recovering from a tumour removal surgery. His family shared an update on his recovery this week, saying that he’s making “terrific progress”.

Rounding out Williams’ set was a performance of his 2000 single ‘Kids’, for which he was joined by Delta Goodrem. Announced earlier this week, Goodrem’s cameo was notable since she appeared to be a stand-in for Kylie Minogue. Williams teased the latter’s involvement last week, asking the pop-star to join him live on-air in a radio interview. The original version of ‘Kids’, too, was in fact a duet between Williams and Minogue.

Have a look at the full show, then see what Robbie Williams performed (via below:

Robbie Williams played: 

1. ‘Let Me Entertain You’
2. ‘Rock DJ’ / ‘Lost’ / ‘Feel’
3. ‘Angels’
4. ‘You’re The Voice’ (John Farnham cover)
5. ‘Kids’ (with Delta Goodrem)

The AFL Grand Final marked Williams’ third performance in Melbourne this year, having completed two sold-out shows at Rod Laver Arena in May. In a press release announcing his appearance – which itself made waves after Williams turned down a $1million offer to perform at the 2014 event – the singer said he was “so excited to be performing for all the fans”.


Also announced this week was an Australasian leg of Williams’ ‘XXV’ world tour. He’ll return to Australia next November, delivering stadium and winery shows in Sydney, Mount Cotton, Melbourne, Geelong and the Swan Valley.

Williams’ ties to Australia have been a key aspect of his year, with his biopic Better Man being filmed in Melbourne. The film is being directed by Michael Gracey, best known for his work on The Greatest Showman, whom Williams’ songwriter Guy Chambers has described as “a bit of a genius”. In a recent interview with NME, Chambers said: “The only thing I know about [the film] so far is that the songs will be reimagined.”

Meanwhile, the AFL Grand Final’s half-time show was led by a cohort of Australian artists, with performers including G Flip, The Temper Trap, Budjerah and Ngaiire. They delivered a memorable show alongside Goanna (performing with Shane Howard), Christine Anu, Emma Donovan, Tasman Keith, William Barton and The Australian Girls Choir.

You May Like