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8 November 2021, 16:38
Joe McElderry is heading on tour next year, performing the music of his idol: George Michael.
The 'Freedom' tour - named after the classic Wham! song - will see the South Shields singer head to Cardiff, Glasgow, Nottingham and more, as well as a homecoming show in Newcastle throughout October next year.
Joe McElderry has a unique history with idol George, having duetted with the pop icon during the 2009 series of the ITV talent show.
George was arguably the show's biggest and most prestigious guest performance till then, and helped McElderry blow away the judges with their beautiful performance of 'Don't Let The Sun Go Down On Me'.
McElderry would later go on to win the series, with that spine-tingling duet having been viewed millions of times on YouTube in the years since.
Now Joe can't wait to hit the road, performing legendary George Michael and Wham! tracks such as 'Careless Whisper', 'Club Tropicana', 'Faith', 'FastLove', and the aforementioned classic 'Don't Let The Sun Go Down On Me'.
With a full band in tow, Joe said about the 'Freedom' tour and his unforgettable X Factor experience: "To this day I still have to pinch myself that I got to sing with George.”
“It was an absolute honour and privilege and is a memory that will remain with me forever."
“To now be taking the brand-new 'Freedom' tour on the road where I will get the chance to perform and celebrate the music of this absolute legend is just fantastic - I can’t wait.”
Long after the X Factor came to end, Joe remained good friends with George, speaking exclusively to Smooth Radio in 2019 about his experience:
"Working with George Michael was truly one of the most memorable moments of my career so far not only because he is a musical icon and I was a huge fan!"
"But more the fact that he was such a humble lovely person, and really made the whole duet about me having my moment on the X Factor final!"
He later added: "He was generous, kind and I can’t say enough nice things about him or his talent. A truly unforgettable moment I will cherish forever."
Since winning the X Factor in 2009 at the age of 18 and reaching No.1 with his single 'The Climb', Joe McElderry has focused on his career in musical theatre with roles including lead roles in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat and The Who’s rock musical Tommy.
Now he's taking it back to his roots, performing the songs of his idol George Michael who helped him get where his is.
Tickets for the 2022 Freedom tour are now on sale, which you can buy here.
For the full list of tour dates, see below:
October 5 - Portsmouth Guildhall
October 8 - Harrogate Convention Centre
October 9 - Birmingham Hippodrome
October 12 - Eastbourne Congress Theatre
October 13 - Cardiff St David's Hall
October 15 - Glasgow SEC Armadillo
October 16 - Newcastle O2 City Hall
October 17 - Edinburgh Festival Theatre
October 18 - Aberdeen Music Hall
October 21 - Nottingham Royal Concert Hall
October 23 - Newport ICC
October 24 - Ipswich Regent Theatre
October 26 - Stockton Globe Theatre
October 30 - Llandudno Venue Cymru