Michael shuns music industry
Pop star George
Michael is abandoning the music business to release his songs
online for free instead.
singer said he will never make another album for sale in record
shops because he does not need the cash and does not enjoy fame.
Fans will be given the
option to make donations online in exchange for downloading the
tracks, and the proceeds will be given to charity.
He is promoting his
latest album, Patience, which he said is his last.
The 40-year-old star made
his announcement during an interview with Jo Whiley on BBC Radio
Speaking about his
decision, he said: "I'm sure it's unprecedented, it's
definitely unprecedented for someone who still sells records.
"I've been very well
remunerated for my talents over the years so I really don't need
the public's money."
He added that he hoped
people downloading his music would donate to his favourite
'All the negativity'
Explaining his decision,
the former Wham! frontman said: "It does two things - it
takes the pressure off to have a collection of songs every so
many years, which is what nearly killed me.
"I'm not pretending
I won't be famous any more, but in the modern world if you take
yourself out of the financial aspect of things, you're not
making anybody any money, you're not losing anybody any money.
"Believe me, I'll be
of very little interest to the press in a certain number of
"I'll hopefully be a
happier man, giving my music and also doing something really
positive with my music if people are generous enough to donate
to the site. I'll remove myself from all that negativity."
The singer has had a
rollercoaster of a career from the heady days as a heart-throb
in Wham to his arrest for indecency in a Los Angeles public
toilet in 1998.
Since becoming a solo
star he has never been far from controversy, including his
vilification for his single Shoot the Dog which was accompanied
by a video showing Tony Blair as a poodle to George Bush.
His image as a teen
heart-throb diminished when he revealed he was gay, but he has
since been embraced by an older audience highlighted by the
championing of his album Patience by BBC Radio 2.