Producer Nile Rodgers expresses 'mixed feelings' about the remix
All George Michael fans’ wildest fantasies have just come true.
Almost nine months after the pop icon’s death, his remixed single “Fantasy” featuring producer Nile Rodgers (who has been teasing the release on social media) was posthumously released by Sony Music Thursday via The Chris Evans Breakfast Show on BBC Radio 2.
Michael and Rodgers had been working together on the project shortly before he died, and the fun, upbeat dance track — which was featured on Ladies & Gentlemen and Twenty Five — was originally intended to be on Michael’s 1990 Listen Without Prejudice album, but was ultimately left off. Michael never got to hear the finished track.
“To be asked by George Michael to rework one of his songs was one of the greatest honors of my life,” Rogers tells PEOPLE. “I was in his London living room on Dec. 23, 2016. I flew home on the 24th, and expected a call from him on the 25th. Instead, I got an alert on my phone that he was found dead. I was devastated. I only hope I’ve made him proud.”
Rodgers on Twitter addressed one fans’ “mixed feelings” about the track. “You SHOULD have mixed feelings. No one’s heart was dragged through emotional ambiguity more than mine.Tears, uncertainty, happiness & #LOVE,” he tweeted.
He has also said of the single, “This process was extremely emotional for me. We were such massive fans of each other’s work. #Christmas2016 was very sad.”
Michael, who rose to fame in band Wham!, died at age 53 in his home in Goring-on-Thames, Oxfordshire on Christmas Day from a dilated cardiomyopathy with myocarditis and fatty liver, according to the coroner’s report. A true legend, Michael sold over 100 million records in his four-decade-spanning career.
Michael enjoyed seven No. 1 singles on the U.K. singles charts, including “Fast Love,” “Careless Whisper,” “A Different Corner” and “Jesus to a Child,” and held 23 top 10 hits, including “You Have Been Loved,” “Outside,” Faith,” and “Father Figure.” His last album was Symphonica in 2014.