In February, John paid tribute to the late pop icon on his Beats 1 radio show, saying: “Not only was he a good friend, but he was probably one of the most brilliant songwriters this country’s ever produced, and certainly one of the best vocalists ever.”
“One of the best in the world,” he added.
However, the two artists’ friendship went through a difficult patch in the mid-noughties. At the time, John described Michael’s latest album ‘Patience’ as “disappointing” and told Heat magazine that the ‘Faith’ singer was in “a strange place”.
Michael responded by issuing a written statement to the same magazine. He wrote: “Elton John knows very little about George Michael and that’s a fact. Contrary to the public’s impression, we have spoken rarely in the last 10 years and what would probably surprise most people is that we have never discussed my private life. Ever.”
Michael also said that John’s knowledge of his life was “pretty much limited to the gossip he hears on the ‘gay grapevine’,” adding: “Other than that, he knows I don’t like to tour, I smoke too much pot and my albums still have habit of going to Number One.”
Discussing the two artists’ mid-noughties falling out, Radio 2 DJ Paul Gambaccini, a friend of Elton John, told The Mirror: “Elton was very upset, we exchanged emails.”
Looking back at this period of Michael’s life, Gambaccini added: “I thought he would have come back from being a stoner. Logic says: ‘OK, lets step back’. But instead he went on. That involved the new people in his life at the time.”
The family of the late George Michael have confirmed that the singer’s funeral took place yesterday (March 29).
“George Michael’s family would like to thank his fans across the world for their many messages of love and support,” they said in a statement to the press. “We ask that the family’s wish for privacy be respected so that they can continue to live their lives privately, away from any media intrusion. No further details will be released.”