25 LIVE: Tour Dates


Sun 31 Dec 2006

    Moscow, Russia



This concert belongs not 100% to the 25LIVE tour, cause it was a private concert, but for the timeline it can be counted to the tour.



George Michael's private Moscow concert goes up in smoke


George Michael's New Year's Eve show ended in disaster after a large quantity of music equipment was destroyed by fire.

The singer - who is believed to have pocketed a staggering 1.7 million to perform at Russian billionaire Vladimir Potanin's private party - lost thousands of pounds worth of equipment when the blaze began at Potanin's Moscow estate.

A source told Britain's The Sun newspaper: "Loads of his gear was melted and some of his band's instruments were wrecked when they were covered in ash.

"Other kit was damaged by water from fire crews. But I reckon George's pay cheque should just about cover it if Mr Potanin doesn't cough up."

Equipment destroyed by fire included a 42in plasma teleprompt and a variety of musical instruments.

It has been reported the fire was started by a crew member experimenting with unused pyrotechnics from the show.

Michael, 43, was already on a private jet back to the UK when the blaze began.

The 'Careless Whisper' singer - accompanied by his lover Kenny Goss and a 40-strong entourage - was flown to Moscow by private jet to perform in front of 250 guests at Potanin's 20 acre estate.

Potanin, who is the ninth richest man in Russia, is said to have personally asked George to perform and paid him in cash.

The huge fee works out at 23,823 a minute - the most ever paid for a single performance in Russia.



Singer George Michael has been paid a reported 1.5m for an hour's concert at a Russian billionaire's New Year party.

The unnamed businessman paid for George to entertain his 300 guests on his private estate 20 miles outside Moscow, the star's spokeswoman said.

The fee is believed to have set a record for a concert in Russia.

George and his entourage were flown in on a private jet and despite being reported to have had "fun" he was back in his London home by morning.

The host is believed to have turned his sports hall into a nightclub especially for the party.

George Michael, 43, has just finished the British leg of his Twentyfive tour which included a free concert for nurses in London.

Other stars who have picked up big cheques include Christina Aguilera, reportedly paid 1m for performing three songs at the wedding of Russian oligarch Andrei Melnichenko in September 2005.


With his quiet, retiring nature and It-boy status, George Michael wouldn't seem too out of place among the Muscovite elite. Indeed the British 80s pop artist recently got a chance to rub shoulders with an oligarch or two after he was hired by a Russian billionaire to serenade him and 300 guests at a New Years

Even party. Michael's fee? That, for 75 minutes of singing a raft of his hits, was reportedly to the tune of $3.5 million.

The tycoon host is as yet unnamed, though some reports have said it was nickel magnate Vladimir Potanin.

The billionair made his fortune after taking control of metals giant Norilsk Nickel and oil company Sidanco. Now hespends much of his time and money on charities.

With Michael's price tag, he's also now set a set a record for Russian concerts. According to the BBC, the singer and his entourage were flown in to the city on a private jet, and then back to London the following morning.

Christina Aguilera is another troubadour who seems to have picked up a fat check in Mother Russia. She reportedly was paid $1.9 million for singing just three songs at the wedding of billionaire,
Andrei Melnichenko, in September 2005. Whitney Houston, who was also there, got a share of the spoils too.

Private recitals seem a popular way for billionaires to spend their cash. Last August Microsoft co-founder
Bill Gates was serenaded by pop singer Christina Milian at his private party, and was so enraptured with the gig that at one point he was the only guest dancing.

Michael's own concert didn't occur without its hitches. The end of the party was reportedly marred by a fire that destroyed thousands of dollars worth of equipment. Musical instruments used by Michael's band were said by British newspaper The Sun to have been damaged by water from local fire crews.

Perhaps not the greatest start to 2007, though given his takings we doubt that'll put the singer off further requests from Russian oligarchs.