George Michael was proud that Princess Diana considered 'You Have Been Loved' as one of her favourite songs.
Shirlie Kemp has recalled how her late Wham! colleague – who passed away at the age of 53 on Christmas Day in 2016 – was healed by the fact that the princess loved the song, which featured on his 1996 album 'Older'.
Speaking on the BBC Radio 2 documentary 'George Michael – Older at 25', Shirlie, 59, recalled: "I do remember George calling me and telling me that Princess Diana called him, and she said it was one of her favourite songs.
"And I think in a way that was healing for him as well and gave him that pride that ultimately a songwriter, after pouring your heart out, you want that. You want to know that people appreciate it. You want to know that people understand that."
Ed Sheeran also hailed the 'Jesus to a Child' hitmaker as "one of the best songwriters that England has produced" and lamented his passing.
The 30-year-old musician said: "In 1996 when 'Older' came out, I was five years old. I think George Michael is one of the best songwriters that England has produced and he's just a fantastic performer, fantastic songwriter.
"As a live performer, he was super captivating, I loved watching videos of him throughout his career. He's incredible."
Ed added: "I think George has influenced pretty much anyone that's in music really because it's sort of travelled through the generations, but it's a great great loss to the music industry."
The documentary 'George Michael – Older at 25' will air on BBC Radio 2 from 9-10pm on Saturday 1st January & Sunday 2nd January 2022 and on BBC Sounds for 30 days afterwards.