By Hayden Wright
George Michael’s sudden death in December dealt a tragic blow to fans and musicians alike. The singer’s legacy can be felt from Sam Smith to the Spice Girls. “Ginger Spice” Geri Halliwell counted Michael as a close personal friend and recorded “Angels in Chains” as a tribute to her late mentor and kindred spirit.
Halliwell told Billboard that the “emotional” studio sessions helped her process grief. They featured Michael’s producer and members of his backing band.
“You know when you’ve got one of those friends that you don’t have to see all the time but when you do, you just click back and you have the most honest relationship?” she said. “I would say that’s the kind of relationship. I felt that as a fan, and then I became a friend. I wanted him to be my boyfriend, but I wasn’t his cup of tea.”
“We had this connection,” she remembered. “He’d lost his mother and I lost my father. Looking back, I looked to him for, sort of, objective fatherly advice sometimes. I’d go and take my music to him and say ‘What do you think?'”
During difficult times in her life, Halliwell says Michael took her under his wing.
“I think you see what someone’s made of when things aren’t going as well as you hope and some people step up for you, and he always did that. When I left the Spice Girls, I went and lived with him. When I had my first child and I had nowhere to live, I went and lived with him for nine months. He was always a very kind person.”
“Angels in Chains” is a mid-tempo pop ballad—and one of the most poignant moments in Halliwell’s discography to date. Listen here: