Jody Watley Pays Tribute To Friend and Colleague George Michael In Moving Music Performance.

Jody Watley pays tribute to fellow music icon – friend and colleague George Michael in music tribute filmed in December 2016 days after his untimely passing.

The heartfelt rendition of “Waiting For That Day” has remained a periodic inclusion in Watley’s concerts. “George and I met while recording “Do They Know It’s Christmas”, he would later appear on my solo debut on our duet “Learn To Say No.” On top of being one of my favorite male vocalists and songwriters – I want people to know he was a very kind human being. His music legacy will always remain. “Waiting For That Day” is not one of his big commercial hits but it’s one that has always been a favorite of mine. The statement making “Listen Without Prejudice” album was a departure of sorts from his previous releases, but he showed a determination to not be constrained by narrow boxes and artistic restraints often found in commercial pop music. That mindset immediately resonated with me.” – Jody Watley

George Michael Forever.

A Monumental Recording. Band Aid. Do They Know It’s Christmas 1984. Classic Rewind.

The Historic Band Aid Single “Do They Know It’s Christmas.”

November 25,1984

While living in London -in one incredible day; I was fortunate to be asked to be a part of this monumental recording session and single along with the best of the best of British pop and rock at the time. None of us really knew the magnitude of what it would be, it was all very low key when invited. The result was “Do The Know It’s Christmas” the name of the group – Band Aid. Four days later it was released in the UK along with a powerful documentary and it has been played during the holiday season since. “Do They Know It’s Christmas” remains one of the biggest singles of all time in the U.K. and mega seller worldwide. It’s an experience none of us involved will ever forget and a song that made a huge difference, setting the bar for other charity singles to follow.

Many of us performed the song on Top Of The Pops as well.

Band Aid Session Photo.
The list of all of the artists involved.

U2 (Bono), Phil Collins, Bob Geldof, Steve Norman, Duran Duran (John Taylor, Simon Le Bon, Roger Taylor, Andy Taylor, Nick Rhodes), Paul Young, Spandau Ballet (Tony Hadley, Martin Kemp, Gary Kemp, Martin Ware, Steve Norman, John Keeble),  Chris Cross, Midge Ure (Ultra Vox), Simon Crow (The Boomtown Rats), Marilyn, Glenn Gregory (Heaven 17), Jody Watley, Paul Weller, Kool & The Gang (James “JT” Taylor, Robert Bell, Dennis Thomas), George Michael, Culture Club (Boy George, Jon Moss), Sting, Johnny Fingers – Rick Parfitt, Franics Rossi (Status Quo), Siohban Fahey, Keren Woodward, Sarah Dallin (Bananarama)

The Commemorative Magazine – George Michael, Sir Bob Geldof, Sting, Simon LeBon; John Taylor, Rick Parfitt, Jody Watley & Banarama (Siobhan, Karen, Sarah), Boy George, Sir Bob Geldof
Wattage!

From the Commemorative Magazine

The magazine itself was probably 10 pages, these are a selected few. Band Aid was also on the cover of every major paper in the United Kingdom – all copies sold out.

Watch the video on Youtube.

Jody Watley. Windy City Times. “Conversation With An Icon.”

Jody Watley. Tyler Miles Photography.

“The stylish “musical assassin” talks tunes, George Michael and activism…

Singer Jody Watley has been many things during her illustrious career, including an activist, fashion plate—but, most certainly, a musician. Among her many achievements in that latter area are a Grammy win; a Lifetime Achievement Award from Billboard magazine; and numerous hits (on her own and as well as with group Shalamar), including “Looking for a New Love,” “Real Love” and “Still a Thrill.”

During a recent, wide-ranging talk with Windy City Times, Watley—who most recently came out with the dance hit “The Healing” last year—discussed everything (and everyone) from her new ambassador role to George Michael to the TV show Soul Train (which she once danced on, as a regular) to HIV/AIDS activism—but the conversation started with COVID vaccinations.”.. Read the full Conversation!

https://www.windycitytimes.com/lgbt/Jody-Watley-Conversation-with-an-icon/70440.html

Jody Watley Reflects On The Legacy Of George Michael in New British Documentary: Last Christmas

The “George Michael’ “Last Christmas special set to air on Channel 5 on UK television Friday December 25, 2020. Jody Watley was interviewed for the broadcast and reflects on his legacy, favorite songs, their duet (1 of the 3 he did in his career), Band Aid and more.

Jody Watley – Flashback Dance Party USA – Happy 33 Looking For A New Love

Wattage!

Jody Watley. Tribute To George Michael Rewind.

The first time I performed the tribute to George Michael was 2016 not long after he’d passed away..it’s still hard to fathom. Since then I’ve included it in my concert a few times including Unplugged this summer in Hawaii where I was able to share more of the back story and add a few more music bits as well.

Gone physically – never forgotten.

 

 

New Unplugged Video Upload on Jody Watley Official Youtube Channel.

A bit of my Tribute to George Michael from my first Jody Watley: Unplugged concert experience (accompanied by Roland Hamilton on piano and Naz Chambi on guitar.. Before I went into the song, I talked about why I selected this song from his catalog, how we met (Band Aid ‘Do They Know It’s Christmas), our duet on my solo debut and more. I really enjoyed this experience and thinking about what venue we should pitch it to for the next one.

Feed The World. Classic Rewind.

The Historic Band Aid Single “Do They Know It’s Christmas.”

#OnThisDay London, 1984 – in one incredible day, I was fortunate to be asked to be a part of this charity single along with the best of the best of British pop and rock at the time. We recorded this single for Band Aid. Four days later it was released in the UK and it has been played at this time of year ever since and one of the biggest singles of all time in the U.K. and mega seller worldwide. It’s an experience none of us involved will ever forget and a song that made a huge difference.

Celebrating George Michael.

” I don’t need the Approval from those that don’t approve of me” –

George Michael

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George Michael – Jody Watley. 1987. Image is Subject to Copyright. (c) 1987 Jody Watley

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Rolling Stone Magazine, 1991 George Michael, Jody Watley (by this time we shared the same manager at the behest of George) and legendary songwriter Bernie Taupin.

 

When trying to get a solo deal in the U.S. after leaving the group Shalamar in 1983 each meeting I went in with a plan, who I wanted to collaborate with, demo’s, what my vision was .. no ones ingenue.

I told them George Michael was on board to do a duet with me..certain execs scoffed – didn’t believe it, pop superstar of Wham already agrees to do a song with you and you’re unsigned – ok yeah right was the tone. I’d asked George at Band Aid “Do They Know It’s Christmas” if I ever got a solo deal would he do a duet with me because that day he told me how much he loved my voice – I gushed how big of a fan I was of Wham – and loved his voice too- we kept in touch speaking on the phone often – George said yes and kept his word when it happened which said a lot about him,he’d become an even bigger superstar but was still down with what he’d agreed to several years before.

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Centerfold Band Aid Special Edition Magazine. The historic single “Do They Know It’s Christmas” Band Aid.

The song “Learn To Say No” was produced by Bernard Edwards (Chic, Power Station) – this photo is from that session considered one of his great collaborations, it was fun, I’m honored to be amongst his work. It was a single because his lable said no.. industry politics  — spent most of Christmas day offline present w family enjoying the day…deeply sad and shocked to see news about George Michael – another great one gone too soon- couldn’t /can’t believe it – reading it is surreal. I’m deeply saddened and really just like -wow 2016 not another one — nice man, gifted singer, songwriter, producer – as well he stepped out against the changing climate in major label culture when CBS became Sony and he felt under supported by the new regime. As an artist also seeing the changing infrastructure of labels (my label MCA became Universal Music Group) – George was on the front lines. Losing the case – he had to pay a whopping 40 million dollars to get his release. That’s a lot to recover from while wanting to push an artistic vision while fighting for respect, and trying to overcome the ‘ole boys network’ that runs this industry.  For more on that read: here

..glad to have known and worked with him. I too remained a massive fan and was looking forward to whatever he created next and his triumph of personal and health woes. Prayers to his family, friends and fans who all loved him so much. His stellar music will live on. The media as it does, often exploited his tribulations in recent years with less attention on the great artist, songwriter, producer he was. I believe he wrote the classic ‘Careless Whisper’ at 17..17. When Listen Without Prejudice Vol. 1 was released – one of my favorites..no sexy photo, wanting to remove himself from videos and the expectations of the past..it resonated with me then and now. His boldness is undervalued. Artistry.

Life is precious – cherish each day and those you love. Don’t waste it on how others think you should live it, each of us has our own journey, fulfill your dreams, make new memories, laugh, love, spread kindness and joy – it’s not the years of life but life in the years. Love to all.

 

 

George Michael Greatest Collaborations:

https://www.yahoo.com/music/hes-your-man-george-michaels-greatest-collaborations-043054563.html

 

http://www.thegreatalbums.com/blog/2016/12/26/in-memoriam-5-studio-albums-featuring-memorable-guest-appearances-from-george-michael

Jody Watley. The Historic Band Aid Do They Know It’s Christmas Experience

It began with a phone call. I’d been living on London with my best friend Jermaine Stewart after leaving my post as the original female lead vocalist of Shalamar on the 4th of July in 1983. The phone call came from Mariella Frostup, who at the time was the publicist for Phonogram Records. I’m told this was at the behest of organizer Sir Bob Geldof who was assembling some of the greatest pop and rock artists of the time and Shalamar had been blazing hot in the UK in this era. The only other American act included were members of Kool and the Gang with lead vocalist J.T. Taylor who were touring the UK at the time with a string of hits as well.

As a side note, Phonogram was very keen to sign me as a solo artist at the time at the helm of executive Chris Briggs – I feel so blessed to have been a part of this historic musical charity event helping to raise millions of dollars which also subsequently inspired USA For Africa.

 

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Siobhan Fahey, Jody Watley, Midge Ure, Karen Woodward, Sara Dallin

Siobhan Fahey, Jody Watley, Midge Ure, Karen Woodward, Sara Dallin

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This Official Band Aid Magazine with it’s 40 pages was sold in local newsstands and convenience stores selling-out quickly for 1.25 p. Imagine if we’d all had smartphones, iPhones, etc. with cameras and video back then to capture the recording and the total camaraderie and slight chaos that went on that day. At the time I thought Bananarama blowing cigarette smoke my way were unfriendly but we had a good laugh about it recently at Giorgio’s dancing the night away. The Mr. Marilyn keep the atmosphere light with his quick wit and exchanges with Boy George and everyone.

Leaving Giorgo's on the Sunset Strip, 2013 exchanging 'Good-night and well wishes' to Siobhan Fahey (former Bananarama)

Leaving Giorgo’s on the Sunset Strip, 2013 exchanging ‘Good-night and well wishes’ to Siobhan Fahey (former Bananarama)

As I’ve said in interviews, it was at this recording that I asked George Michael, if I signed a deal would he duet with me – and he kept his word on my solo debut in 1987. There was some friendly flirting directed my way from John Taylor of Duran Duran and Paul Young as well. This was another blessed and memorable experience I was fortunate to be a part of.