Two days before what would have been George Michael‘s 54th birthday, former Spice Girls member Geri Horner (née Halliwell) will pay homage to the late pop icon with her first global music release in 12 years, “Angels in Chains.” The single produced by longtime Michael collaborator Chris Porter will be available on June 23 through East West Records and profits from its sale will go to Michael’s charity of choice, Child Line.
The artist formerly known as Ginger Spice wrote the single and it also features some other members of Michael’s extended musical family: Chris Cameron (Michael’s musical director), guitarist Phil Palmer and back up singers Shirley Lewis, Lucy Jules and Jay Henry.
“When I first heard the sad news of his passing, I was nine-months pregnant with my son Monty and I was full of emotions,” Horner said in a statement announcing the song, described as a “heartfelt ballad… coloured with lyrical references” to some of Michael’s most beloved hits. “I didn’t know quite what to do with my feelings so I put it in a song, which became ‘Angels in Chains’. I feel very blessed to have the opportunity to work on this record with Chris Porter and the same team George had hand picked for his own projects. I am first and foremost a George Michael fan, so to be in the same studio with these amazingly gifted artists who have put their stamp of so many of my favourite records was a real privilege for me.”
The singer says the track is intended as a “beautiful, healing message” to anyone who has experienced the loss of a loved one. In the process I found how healing making this record had been not only for me but also for everyone involved,” she says. “This is our way of saying goodbye to our friend and music idol, and I hope George’s fans enjoy this as much as we have making it.”
Michael passed away on Dec. 25 at his home in Oxfordshire, England, at age 53 or what a coroner determined was natural causes as a result of heart disease and a fatty live. Horner’s song is her first new music since the 2005 release of her third solo album, Passion.