George Michael has posthumous number one album as he sensationally out-sells Niall Horan
George Michael has taken the number one spot 10 months after he passed away.
His 1990 album, Listen Without Prejudice, was re-released on the back of a TV documentary focussed on the making of the album.
The album’s huge sales have denied One Direction star Niall Horan his first No. 1 solo album.
Listen Without Prejudice Vol. 1 outsold Niall’s debut album, Flicker, by more than 30,000 sales according to Official Charts.
David Austin, George Michael’s former manager, long-term collaborator and close friend since childhood said: “For three years George, myself and his loyal team have worked relentlessly alongside our amazing team at Sony and together we have carefully crafted and put together our beautiful Listen Without Prejudice/MTV Unplugged campaign and film Freedom.
“It’s no great secret that George was a perfectionist and it shows – he was over everything from its inception to its finish, and it’s a blessing and rare gift to be guided by such genius.
“That, along with exceptional teamwork and the overwhelming love for George from the public has made everything come together.
“We are all so incredibly proud to have the Number 1 album in the UK.”
Producer Nile Rodgers, who collaborated with George for the reissue, told OfficialCharts.com: “I’m eternally grateful to George for choosing me to work on this project.
“His genius will be missed. And I’m equally grateful to David Austin, for convincing me to finish after George had passed.
“I was in a funk for months, and one day David said to me rather matter-of-factly, ‘Yog would love it. That’s why he called you in the first place’.”
Bookmakers Betway have cut their odds from 11/4 to 4/6 in recent weeks.
William Hill are also offering 4/6 on either George Michael or Wham! topping the charts on 25 December.
Last Christmas was kept off the coveted spot on its first release in 1984 by Band Aid’s charity single Do They Know It’s Christmas?
The song returned to the top 10 in the week after his sudden death.
Some of the late star’s posthumous songs could also chart.
Music legend Nile Rodgers has opened up about working with George Michael in the days before his death.
The producer, writer and guitarist had been working on the former Wham! singer’s comeback documentary Freedom: George Michael, as well as new music.
Speaking to Diffuser FM, Nile said: “On December 23rd [of 2016], I am at his house finishing up my work on the film and I leave to come back home on the 24th.
“Well, on Christmas Day we were supposed to speak and I get an alert on my phone that George Michael was found dead. It didn’t make any sense.
“It felt like one day to me that we hadn’t spoken and he was gone. It was shocking, it was alarming.
“After cancer I decided I wanted to chronicle my life better so I started taking more pictures on my cell phone.
“There is a photograph I took when I was approaching George Michael’s house on the 23rd.
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“Before we made the last turn to go down his street, there was a funeral procession coming out of his street.
“At the time, I didn’t make anything of it other than photographing this tradition of the English to have a horse pull the casket.
“In retrospect it is spooky. I keep thinking about it. All of this impacts me artistically.
“I have been working on music thinking about these people as I do.”
Since his death, dozens of people have opened up about the singer’s extraordinary generosity and anonymous philanthropy.