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Last Updated: Saturday, 9 June 2007, 23:41 GMT 00:41 UK
Michael makes history at Wembley
It was the first of two shows for the ex-Wham! singer

George Michael has become the first singer to perform at the new Wembley Stadium, nearly seven years after the last concert at the London venue.

He performed hits from his Wham! days and his solo career as part of the first of two shows at the iconic venue.

The north-London-born singer said it was an "amazing honour". "I have felt a huge association with Wembley from when I was a child," he told reporters.

On stage, he called his fans "the best, most patient in the world".

"I'm actually here, I don't believe it," he said.

"Before I get carried away with the evening's proceedings I would like to say, for these 25 long years, thank you so much."

Celebrity guests at the show included ex-Spice Girl Geri Halliwell, TV presenters Claire Sweeney and June Sarpong, and Ivana Trump, the ex-wife of US businessman Donald Trump.

Court appearance

The gig came a day after Michael was sentenced to 100 hours of community service for driving while unfit.

Asked before the gig if that had affected his preparations, he replied: "Not at all, not in the slightest. It's just nice to have it out of the way."

George Michael

Magistrates in Brent, north London, also disqualified the 43-year-old from driving for two years, after he was found slumped behind the wheel of his Mercedes in October 2006.

He had previously admitted the offence, saying he was guilty because of tiredness and prescription drugs.

On stage on Saturday, he attacked "liars" in the press covering his private life.

Michael is no stranger to Wembley, having played with Wham! at 1985's Live Aid concert and as a solo artist, most recently at 1999's Net Aid show.

The UK leg of his European 25 Live 2007 tour also includes stadium shows in Norwich, Manchester, Glasgow and Plymouth.

Diana concert

Rock bands Muse and Metallica are also playing the rebuilt Wembley this summer, which will also play host to Concert for Diana - featuring Sir Elton John and Duran Duran - and Live Earth, which will include Madonna and Red Hot Chili Peppers.

Bon Jovi were the last act to play at Wembley in August 2000, before the old stadium was torn down as part of a 757m redevelopment.

They were due to re-open Wembley for concerts last summer, but construction delays meant the new stadium did not open for business until March.

Bon Jovi will now be the first band to play a full show at the O2 arena - the former Millennium Dome - on 24 June.


VIDEO AND AUDIO NEWS
George Michael on stage at Wembley Stadium



SEE ALSO
Singer Michael avoids jail term
08 Jun 07 |  Entertainment
The new Wembley Stadium
16 May 07 |  Football

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