How TikTok is introducing a new generation to George Michael, Queen and other icons

17 November 2020, 17:05

How TikTok is introducing a new generation to George Michael, Queen and other icons
How TikTok is introducing a new generation to George Michael, Queen and other icons. Picture: Getty / TikTok

By Sian Moore

People across the globe are discovering some of the '80s biggest musicians through the social media platform of the moment – TikTok.

As an app which is largely driven by music, dance and lip-synching, it should be no surprise that a number-one hit from the 1980s would finally become a popular backing track to videos being created.

A remixed version of George Michael's iconic 'Careless Whisper' has already been featured in almost 100,000 clips on TikTok since it was first shared at the beginning of October.

Some of the videos have been interacted with by over a million people – introducing the late singer's 1984 hit to a whole new audience.

Read more: Stevie Nicks responds to 'Dreams' viral TikTok trend following Mick Fleetwood's video

It didn't take too long for some curious listeners to look into who sang the catchy track.

"Let's just appreciate the singer of the song," TikTok user @molshep captioned her video, which used the remixed edition as a soundtrack to pictures of the music legend throughout his career.

Read more: Mick Fleetwood recreates viral 'Dreams' TikTok video, sipping cranberry juice and lip-syncing to song

And clearly, she wasn't the only one thinking it.

Almost 17,000 people have liked the video, with one commenter replying: "Finally I'm on George Michael tiktok."

Read more: When George Michael was exposed on This Morning as secret £50,000 donor who sent needy kids to Lapland

It now seems that "George Michael TikTok" is officially a thing.

For context, the way the app's algorithm works is by serving users posts similar to what they already engage with, so essentially, the more you watch and interact with particular interests, the more you should see those things.

As more people comment, like and share videos featuring the Wham! star's name and music, the more likely it is that George Michael content will be consumed by more and more people.

Read more: How Wham! got their name: Teenage George Michael reveals story in interview clip from 1983

Another video celebrating the singer, posted by user @lotgadel just two days ago (November 15), has already had just under 2 million likes.

"I'm obsessed," the caption simply states, as a video of George singing 'Careless Whisper' plays on repeat.

"George Michael is top tier," one commenter agreed.

Another wrote: "No I'm literally a Wham! stan at this point." (A "stan" being an overzealous maniacal fan, Urban Dictionary defines.)

QUIZ: How well do you know Wham! song lyrics?

In less than a month, it seems the 'Freedom' singer's presence on the social media app has exploded.

There's even an official verified account for George, which was created last month to celebrate his "career, humour, heart and individualism".

But George Michael isn't the only music legend carving out a space on the viral video platform.

The hashtag #SingWithQueen is currently trending on TikTok, with a whopping 22 million views already amassed on videos "duetting" Freddie Mercury.

Read more: George Michael's Freedom: Supermodels recall intimate moments and 'naughty' antics from video shoot

"Always wanted to duet with Freddie Mercury?" the trend description teases. "Now's your chance to sing your heart out with the icon himself in celebration of Queen joining TikTok!"

The original video features a clip from Mercury's unforgettable Live Aid set: the moment he sang along with the roaring audience and had around 72,000 people mimicking his vocals.

Read more: Freddie Mercury and Brian May's private hotel jam session from 1986 is magnificent

Users are invited to "duet" the clip and sing along after Freddie, replacing the sound of the crowd.

"Freddie will always be KING," TikTok user @tomgrennan captioned his attempt (watch below).

Read more: Queen, David Bowie and Annie Lennox's powerful 'Under Pressure' performance in tribute to Freddie Mercury

User @nicki_saurus decided to take her duet one step further.

Donning a fake moustache and a white vest top tucked into jeans, she looks the image of Mercury as the two clips play out side-by-side.

"I can't describe how hyped I am: Queen is here!!!" the on-screen text reads.

Read more: Spine-tingling moment Brian May plays a staggering guitar solo to an empty stadium

TikTok, which was formerly, has only been around for a relatively short amount of time compared to other popular social media platforms.

But in just two years it has already had two billion downloads, with around 800 million active users as of July this year, according to the BBC.

It's a platform that's heavily influenced by trends and popular music, which often lead to viral videos.

And here George Michael and Queen are, just proving that their music is as timeless as ever as they appeal to a whole new audience on TikTok...