BBC Radio 2 listeners crown Careless Whisper as favourite George Michael song

Radio 2 listeners have voted Careless Whisper as their favourite George Michael song.

Careless Whisper was announced earlier by Scott Mills as the culmination of ‘Your Ultimate George Michael Song’, a three hour special which counted down the Top 40 songs written by George Michael as voted for by listeners on Radio 2.

The vote, which took place in December as part of Radio 2 Celebrates Songwriting season, was launched to mark 40 years of George as one of the world’s best loved singer songwriters.

Careless Whisper was written by George and his fellow bandmate Andrew Ridgeley. The idea for the song came to George when he was just 17 years old, while riding the number 32 bus home as a teenager.

The song was released in July 1984 and reached Number One in the UK charts. It was George’s first solo record. It also topped the charts in America, Australia, Canada, France, Holland, Italy, Ireland, South Africa and Switzerland. It won the Ivor Novello award for being the Most Performed Work in 1984.

The George Michael Estate said: “George would be delighted, just as we are, that Radio 2 listeners have voted Careless Whisper as their favourite George Michael song. George had a long standing and treasured relationship with his audience and we are all moved to see that the bond  is as strong as ever. We would like to thank you from the bottom of our hearts and wish you all a happy New Year for 2022.”

 Andrew Ridgeley added: “I am delighted that Radio 2 listeners have voted Careless Whisper paramount of a stellar constellation of songwriting gems. It is testament to the timeless and fundamental essence of the song the teenage George and I considered the jewel in our, very slender, songwriting repertoire that it’s youthful, but beautifully expressed lament of lost love endures to touch the hearts of listeners still.”

Jeff Smith, Head of Music, Radio 2 says: “Careless Whisper is a modern classic which is as emotive today as it was when it was released in 1984. It’s the ultimate heartbreak ballad which perfectly encapsulates the feeling of love lost.”

 Here are the results of the vote (the artist is George Michael except where mentioned in brackets):

  1. CARELESS WHISPER – No. 1, 1984
  2. A DIFFERENT CORNER – No. 1, 1986
  3. PRAYING FOR TIME – No.6, 1990
  4. FAITH – No. 2, 1987
  5. LAST CHRISTMAS – No. 2, 1984 & No.1, 2007 & 2020 (Wham!)
  6. COWBOYS AND ANGELS – No. 45, 1991
  7. JESUS TO A CHILD – No. 1, 1996
  8. FREEDOM 90 – No. 28, 1990
  9. FATHER FIGURE – No. 11, 1988
  10. FAST LOVE – No. 1, 1996
  11. EVERYTHING SHE WANTS – No.1, 1984 (Wham!)
  12. CLUB TROPICANA – No. 4, 1983 (Wham!)
  13. YOU HAVE BEEN LOVED – No.2, 1997
  14. ONE MORE TRY – No. 8, 1988
  15. KISSING A FOOL – No. 18, 1988
  16. WAKE ME UP BEFORE YOU GO GO – No. 1, 1984 (Wham!)
  17. WAITING FOR THAT DAY – No. 23, 1990
  18. FREEDOM – No. 1, 1984 (Wham!)
  19. OUTSIDE – No. 2, 1997
  20. AMAZING – No.4, 2004
  21. I’M YOUR MAN – No. 1, 1985 (Wham!)
  22. HEAL THE PAIN – No. 31, 1991
  23. THE EDGE OF HEAVEN – No. 1, 1986 (Wham!)
  24. SPINNING THE WHEEL – No. 2, 1996
  25. OLDER – No.3, 1997
  26. YOUNG GUNS (GO FOR IT) – No. 3, 1982 (Wham!)
  27. DECEMBER SONG (I DREAMED OF CHRISTMAS) – No. 14, 2009
  28. TOO FUNKY – No. 4, 1992
  29. WHAM RAP! (ENJOY WHAT YOU DO) – No. 8, 1983 (Wham!)
  30. FLAWLESS (GO TO THE CITY) – No.8, 2004
  31. I WANT YOUR SEX – No. 3, 1987
  32. THIS IS NOT REAL LOVE (WITH MUTYA BUENA) – No. 15, 2006
  33. STAR PEOPLE 97 – No. 2, 1997
  34. BAD BOYS – No. 2, 1983 (Wham!)
  35. THE STRANGEST THING 97 – No.2, 1997
  36. AN EASIER AFFAIR – No.13, 2006
  37. ROUND HERE – No. 32, 2004
  38. FREEEK! – No. 7, 2002
  39. WHITE LIGHT – No. 15, 2012
  40. WALTZ AWAY DREAMING (WITH TOBY BURKE) – No. 10, 1997 (Toby Bourke/George Michael)

To be eligible for inclusion on the voting list, the song must have charted in the UK Top 75 and have been composed by George Michael, either on his own or as a co-writer, from his time in Wham!, as a solo artist, or when he sang with other stars as a part of a duet.

If you missed The George Michael Chart on BBC Radio 2 – listen back now on BBC Sounds.

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