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Elton says that George Michael, who passed away on Christmas Day, should be remembered for his “wonderful music” and generosity.

Speaking about his pal on his latest Apple Beats 1, the musician stated: “I wanted to do a little tribute to him on the show because not only was he a good friend, but he was probably one of the most brilliant songwriters this country’s ever produced, and certainly one of the best vocalist ever. One of the best in the world.”

He said of their relationship: “It was an amazing friendship based on music to start with, and I remember sitting in the car just off of Hyde Park listening to a cassette of ‘Wake Me Up Before You Go Go’ and I said, ‘George, that’s the nearest record I’ve heard to a Motown record for years and years.’

“It was such a great record, and he and I became great friends.”

Elton believes that George’s “humanity” will be sorely missed.

He added: “I just want to remember him for his wonderful music and his kindness, which people are commenting on.

”He was the kindest, most generous man, and did it without wanting any publicity.”

Elton played a tribute set that consisted of George’s own One More Try; Leon Russell’s A Song For You;  Nina Simone‘s I Put a Spell on You; Ray CharlesDrown in My Own Tears; Bruce Springsteen‘s Streets of Philadelphia; and Bob Dylan‘s Blowin’ In the Wind.

“I don’t get jealous of many songs, but I’m jealous of this song,” the radio show host said of One More Try. “I’d love to have written this.”