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George Michael to
be first performer at rebuilt Wembley

George Michael to
be first performer at rebuilt Wembley

Singer George Michael will be the first pop artist to play a concert at London's new Wembley Stadium, the venue's managing director said on Sunday.

Michael's gig at the much-delayed rebuilt stadium, which has cost more than 750 million pounds, is scheduled for June 9, three weeks after the venue is due to host the Football Association Cup final.

"He's no stranger to this great stage, having performed at the old stadium both with Wham! at Live Aid and also as a solo artist, so this is a fitting first gig in the new stadium," Wembley managing director Alex Horne said in a statement..

Wembley's rebuilding was originally due to be completed by January 31, 2006. But repeated delays forced the Football Association to abandon the stadium's opening and move the 2006 FA Cup final back to its temporary home of Cardiff. In February FA chief executive Brian Barwick said everything was "on track" to host the FA Cup this year at the 90,000 capacity venue, but added there were "no guarantees" it would be ready on time.

"The contract for the concert has been signed by all parties," Michael's publicist told Reuters.

Michael's Wembley concert will form part of the singer's British and European Stadium tour, which starts at Aarhus Stadium in Denmark on May 18 and ends in Rome's Stadio Olimpico on July 21.

Michael has sold more than 85 million records during his career and has had 11 British number 1 singles and eight British number 1 albums as well as six U.S. number 1 singles. (Reuters)

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