Flashback Friday: George Michael

He's traded in the famous crucifix earring for an apology to fans - in time for a new music tour

George Michael‘s been in the news a lot in recent years – and mostly for all the wrong reasons. Whether it’s getting caught with his pants down in a men’s room or careening his car around London after a few too many, the one-time music heartthrob is back in the spotlight, saying he wants to become an inspiration for gay youth.

In a recent interview with Bang Showbiz, the out singer said he wants to make amends for his reckless behavior by becoming a role model for gay youngsters. “It’s really a matter of thinking what can I do to contribute as a gay man,” Michael told Bang, “because I have a serious problem with the fact that every time I would let myself down, I felt definitely that I was letting young gay people down, because they would then witness the homophobia that is thrown at me and the wording of that homophobia and the language that is being used.”

The pop star, who’ll be embarking on a concert tour of opera houses this year – the first in years – says he would like to help gay kids in a positive way – something he criticizes the gay community for not doing often enough. “I think we’re a notoriously bad community at helping our own when it comes to children because we don’t have any children,” he said.

Hm. We wonder what all the gay and lesbian parents out there would think of that statement?

Before he came out, the former Wham! frontman was famous for a slew of hit singles, including “Freedom ’90” (one of our all-time favorites), featuring fabulous supermodels and statements about manhood and fame and a foreshadowing of things to come.

See it again for the first time: