George Michael: I'm retiring
March 11 2004 1:00 AM ET
Pop star George Michael told BBC Radio that he is quitting the music business after the release of his next album and will release his songs on the Internet in future. Promoting Patience, his upcoming CD, which he promises will be his last, Michael said he doesn't need the cash or the fame and from now on he'll make his songs available online for fans. Downloaders will have the option to make donations that Michael will give to charity. "I'm sure it's unprecedented; it's definitely unprecedented for someone who still sells records," said Michael in an interview with BBC Radio's Jo Whiley. "I've been very well renumerated for my talents over the years, so I really don't need the public's money."
Michael explained his decision to leave the rat race of the music business behind him: "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 anymore, 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 years. 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."