Sony Music U.K. chairman/CEO Rob Stringer tells Billboard.biz that the company is planning to release a duets set by George Michael as the follow-up to his “Patience” album, which is released in the United Kingdom and internationally today (March 15).
Stringer says the duets set will comprise archive hits with Elton John, Queen, Whitney Houston, Aretha Franklin, Mary J. Blige and others, plus four new collaborations, which the Sony chairman says will be recorded “over the next year.”
Michael has been quoted in more than one British interview as saying “Patience” will be his last major-label endeavor. He recently told BBC Radio 1 that he would not make another album for sale in the conventional way and that he envisioned a future studio set being available for free download, with consumers encouraged to donate to Michael’s favorite charities.
The U.S. release of “Patience,” meanwhile, is planned for June. Look for more in the upcoming March 27 issue of Billboard.