George Michael died at his home on Christmas Day in 2016, at the age of 53, due to heart disease, according to BBC. His sudden death caused an outpouring of grief from shocked fans.
After his death, it was reported that he left a lot of unreleased music. The new release of “Fantasy” is a collaboration with Chic’s Nile Rodgers, which was recorded early in 2016. Michael commissioned the remake shortly before his death, according to The Guardian.Rodgers took part in a documentary about Michael in 2016. He played the remix while touring the Chic this summer, according to Billboard.
Michael’s manager David emailed Chris Evans with the story of the song, according to this audio from the show. “’Fantasy’ was originally meant to be on Listen Without Prejudice, and was intended to be one of the singles on the album, but somehow it got lost in the ether or what was going on at the time. George did release it later as a B-side.” ”Fantasy” was on the B-side of Freedom, released in 1990. David went on to state that years later, the song was included in the reissue of the album Listen Without Prejudice for “MTV Unplugged.”
Fans have expressed mixed feelings about the posthumous release of Michael’s work. Rodgers responded to critics on Twitter, stating, “You SHOULD have mixed feelings. No one’s heart was dragged through emotional ambiguity more than mine. Tears, uncertainty, happiness & #LOVE.”
The 2017 Grammy and BRIT Awards featured tributes to George Michaels by Coldplay’s Chris Martin and Adele. During her Grammy performance of “Fastlove,” Adele famously stopped and asked to start over, saying “I can’t mess this up for him.”