George Michael fans pay emotional tribute at the Wham! star’s memorial service
Fans of George Michael have gathered for a memorial service of the late star.
Hundreds of adoring fans descended on the town of Bushey, Hertfordshire – where the singer grew up – to celebrate his life and music.
Fans travelled from across the globe for The Service of Thanksgiving, following his shock death on Christmas Day 2016.
The service was held at St James The Apostle church in the town and featured some of his best-known hits – including Jesus to a Child and Wham! classic, Wake Me Up Before You Go Go.
Service-goers then headed to the pub where Andrew Ridgely and Michael first formed Wham! in the 1980s.
The event was organised by the George Michael Appreciation Group founder Tracey Wills, who told The Sun: “I have always been a fan and I decided that I was going to do something for him because he has done so much for everyone else.
“The turnout was incredible. I can’t believe it. People have come from Spain and Malta.
“George left such a mark on a lot people and I felt like we needed to do something for him.
“The fans needed somewhere to grieve.
“I put this together for George, for the fans. I wish his family were here to be able to see this.”
One fan attending the event, Fabi Gomez, 46, from Zurich, Switzerland, said the memorial made up for the absence of a public funeral.
She told the paper: “We were very disappointed that there was no public funeral, so we just needed to come and put a flower where he lived.
“It was a really lovely service and it was so nice at the end when they played Wake Me Up Before You Go Go and everyone was clapping.
“It was more a celebration of his life, which I think he would have wanted.”
A concert at London’s historic Royal Albert Hall had been proposed as a way to remember Michael’s full back catalogue.
Dame Esther Rantzen, a friend of the late star and founder of charity ChildLine, is aiming to arrange the event for this year.
However, family members are reportedly unhappy with the plans.
A source told the Daily Mirror that “make or break” talks are to be held this week in an attempt to broker a deal between event organisers, family members and record company bosses.
“The most important thing about organising this is that the family approve of everything,” the source said.
“Esther and the organisers didn’t want to jump the gun and start making arrangements before they had spoken with them.
“At the moment there is a big possibility it won’t happen because the family aren’t on board.
“The meeting will either make or break plans.”
The family had originally been against a tribute at the Grammy’s, saying that only Adele could perform the dedication.
The resting spot of the late legend, at Highgate Cemetery in north London, will not be open to fans.
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The grave is positioned in a private area of the London resting place, and will not be accessible to the general public.
A tall barrier was placed around the gravestone after the singer’s funeral service on March 29, blocking the space from view.
His March funeral was attended only by close friends and family, with Geri Horner thought to have delivered the eulogy.
The Spice Girl also named her newborn son after the singer, who she called a close friend.
Since his death, dozens of people have opened up about the singer’s extraordinary generosity and anonymous philanthropy, donating millions to good causes without revealing his identity.