When George Michael joined Paul Young for a surprise rendition of ‘Every Time You Go Away’
8 July 2022, 14:52
The lineup for 1986’s Prince’s Trust Rock Gala needs to be seen to be believed.
To celebrate a triumphant decade of helping vulnerable young people get their lives back on track, Prince Charles decided to hold a rock concert.
After ten years of incredible work supporting many of the country's most at-risk youths, the Prince Of Wales assembled an all-star cast of rock and pop music's greatest icons worthy of the charity's anniversary.
On 20th June 1986, Wembley Arena was lit up with an incredible roster of artists who joined each other on stage for a major celebration.
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The likes of Sir Elton John, Sir Rod Stewart, Sting, Tina Turner, Eric Clapton, Phil Collins, and Sir Paul McCartney all dazzled a crowd of 12,000 plus, performing their greatest hits in one of the decade's most talked about spectacles.
And that's not the half of it: Bryan Adams, Ultravox's Midge Ure, Level 42's Mark King, Joan Armatrading, Status Quo, and Dire Strait's Mark Knopfler made up the all-star backing band.
But one specific duet that happened on the night continues to send shivers down the spines of anyone lucky enough to witness it.
Two of the era's most soulful icons, George Michael and Paul Young would join one another on stage, in an impromptu rendition of Young's classic hit 'Every Time You Go Away'.
Although Macca would headline the concert, George's surprise appearance certainly overshadowed the former Beatle's grand finale.
And that's despite Young having already performed his song only minutes earlier.
As George giddily jumps on stage, he addresses the audience to explain the repeat performance:
"You've heard this one already tonight, but I wasn't expecting to come on. It's the only one we both know!"
Not that there was a shred of annoyance in the crowd, as one of the country's greatest ever pop stars graced them with his presence.
And what happened next was sheer magic.
Taking turns with each verse, every time George and Paul reached the chorus it'd spark a rapturous sing-a-long that spread throughout Wembley Arena.
With the crowd clapping to every single beat, it was a performance that Sir Elton and Eric Clapton didn't want to miss out on, both of them had their opportunity to strut their stuff in the spotlight.
After the guitar virtuoso's solo came to a close, the band brought it down a notch so George and Paul can work the crowd into the palms of their hands.
Singing the first line of the chorus, Paul holds out the microphone to the audience to scream back at him.
"I'm sorry, it needs to be louder!" says George, as they take turns in rousing the crowd for an epic crescendo.
It was one of those incredible moments where both artists are in their element, beaming with joy.
And so are the Wembley Arena audience, strangely dazed from what they've just experienced.
After George's tragically premature passing in 2016, Paul Young was one of the first artists to pay tribute to the great singer.
He described George's incomparable voice as one "that cuts straight through your heart".
Wembley Arena evidently couldn't agree more at the time, getting to experience two artists together at the top of their game.
Given the incredible career and profound effect George's music had on people around the world, we couldn't agree more with Paul's sentiments.