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George Michael’s best song is his cover of Queen’s “Somebody to Love.”

There will be partisans of ’80s hits like “Careless Whisper” and “I Want Your Sex.” His most ubiquitous song may be “Last Christmas,” the rare holiday classic, along with “Christmastime Is Here,” that captures the season’s melancholy undercurrent. (The fact that he died on Christmas Day will only enhance the song’s strange mystique.) But these songs, whose cheesiness has been fuzzed over with nostalgia, don’t do justice to Michael’s many gifts. Just watch his rendition of “Somebody to Love” at the 1992 tribute concert to Freddie Mercury at Wembley Stadium, accompanied by the surviving members of Queen and the London Community Gospel Choir. It is a kind of total pop performance. He sounds great—so great that it’s hard to imagine anyone else doing this song besides Mercury himself. He looks great—hot pink blazer, a sheen of perfectly groomed stubble, and a single gold hoop through one ear. And coming at the peak of the AIDS awareness movement in the early 1990s, the performance has an emotional weight that he himself lamented was often missing from his best-known hits. RIP, George Michael.