New song by late George Michael to be released

The new single by the late George Michael (above) will be played on BBC Radio 2.
The new single by the late George Michael (above) will be played on BBC Radio 2.PHOTO: INSTAGRAM

LONDON (AFP) - A previously unheard song by British pop icon George Michael is set for its first radio play on Thursday (Sept 7), the first such release since the musician's death last year, his former publicist said.

The new single from Sony Music will be played on BBC Radio 2 at 0800 GMT (4pm Singapore time), publicist Connie Filippello said on Wednesday, without naming the song or giving further details.

Pop sensation Michael died at his home on Dec 25, 2016, after a lengthy career which saw him sell more than 100 million albums.

His family said they intend to release all the music Michael had been working on before his death.

"Our aim is to carry on, as we know Yog (Michael) would have wanted, to share and enjoy his precious legacy and to continue to bring you joy - through his extraordinarily beautiful music," they said in an online statement.

Born Georgios Kyriacos Panayiotou, he shot to fame in 1981 as one half of the duo Wham! and went on to have a string of hits as a solo artist.

Before his death at the age of 53, it was announced that producer and songwriter Naughty Boy was working with Michael on a new album to be released in 2017.

A private London funeral was held for Michael in March, after a coroner found he had died from dilated cardiomyopathy with myocarditis and fatty liver.

The former condition affects the heart's ability to pump blood due to the muscle becoming enlarged and weakened, while myocarditis is an inflammation of the heart wall.