Over the last few years, George Michael has been in the news many times, and not exactly for the most admirable reasons. He's been arrested multiple times, mostly for drugs and public sex. Last year he served four weeks of an eight-week sentence for driving under the influence of drugs, crashing his car into a store. Shortly before that he had been arrested for exposing himself to an undercover police officer.
So when Michael says he's been a bad example to gay youth, it's hard to disagree. But now, he says, he's going to make amends. He told BANG Showbiz: ''It's really a matter of thinking what can I do to contribute as a gay man, because I have a serious problem with the fact that every time I would let myself down I felt definitely that I was letting young gay people down, because they would then witness the homophobia that is thrown at me and the wording of that homophobia and the language that is being used. So I have some plans to try and do things to help gay kids and I think we're a notoriously bad community at helping our own when it comes to children because we don' have any children. So I want to make up for some of the damage that I have done in making myself so newsworthy and putting myself on the back foot enough that there was no room, or space, for me to defend gay children.''
In other words, he feels he has been a bad example, projecting a negative image of homosexual people to the general public. The artist now wants to assemble a ''gay collective'' to record his next album, including a number of celebrity guest stars. He has stated that it will be a dance-influenced pop record, and that he is looking to collaborate with gay or gay-friendly artists; however, he has not yet mentioned any names.
George is also looking forward to getting back out onto the road with "Symphonica - The Orchestral Tour". He plans to perform in a number of opera houses all over the world backed by a full orchestra. The tour will take place from August through December of this year in several venues, including the O2 Arena in Berlin, Piazza Santa Croce in Florence, Palau San Jordi in Barcelona and London's legendary Royal Albert Hall. The playlist will include many of his own greatest hits, rearranged and reworked in a classical setting, as well as covers of some of his favorite songs from other artists.
He said: ''In terms of making the decision to tour again, I couldn't see myself going and doing a big greatest hits show. But it's such an amazing thing to watch the effect on my audience of an evening's entertainment, so, I thought, It's the most positive experience you've had in the last 20 years, why wait? ''