George Michael has hit back at criticism that he cashed in on the Olympics by using the closing ceremony as the launchpad for his new single.
In a message to his fans, he said: “I don’t regret it.”
George raised eyebrows during the showpiece event when he performed new track White Light when other artists were drawing on their biggest hits for the spectacular.
The song was his first new material since he almost died late last year after contracting pneumonia, and was inspired by his health woes. His performance also marked his return to the stage after being in hospital for several weeks in Vienna as a result of the illness.
George’s use of the high profile event seems to have paid dividends as he looks likely to register his first top 10 hit for eight years when the Official Charts Company unveils the next singles chart at the weekend.
In a message on Twitter, he said: “Had a great time at the closing! I hope you are not bothered by the press reports of my scandalous ‘promotion’.”
And in a forthright response he added: “Please join me in telling them to f*** off. It was my one chance on TV to thank you all for your loyalty and prayers, and I took it. And I don’t regret it.”
Michael also performed Freedom ’90, which made it to only number 28 in the charts, despite having a series of chart-toppers and top 10 hits from which to choose.