Michael sings to star-studded crowd

Salisbury Journal: George Michael performed at a concert to raise money for Aids charity Sidaction George Michael performed at a concert to raise money for Aids charity Sidaction

George Michael was cheered on by his French friends as he became the first pop star to play at the Palais Garnier in Paris.

French fashion designer Jean-Paul Gaultier, The Artist actress Berenice Bejo, Bond girl Berenice Marlohe and actress Dolores Chaplin, the granddaughter of silent film star Charlie Chaplin, were among the celebrities who gave the singer a standing ovation at the French opera house.

"It's so touching to see George sing here, and it is very special to see him in the Opera Garnier," said Dolores.

George - who resumed the European leg of his previously postponed Symphonica tour with two dates in Vienna, following his battle with severe pneumonia last November - gave a rousing performance despite admitting he had been "terrified" about the honour.

"Well me, not exactly operatic. In fact, I am told that mine will be the first non-classically trained voice to sing on that prestigious stage. Not sure I believe that, but it's a nice thought, if a bit terrifying," he tweeted before the show.

As the gig came to a close, the 49-year-old told the Paris crowd: "Paris, you've been wonderful. It's good to see you all."

Proceeds from the glitzy concert benefited the Aids-related charity Sidaction, and the show preceded a black-tie gala dinner and auction, with proceeds going to the non-profit organisation.

George - whose real name is Georgios Kyriacos Panayiotou - will next play dates in Brussels and Amsterdam before returning to the UK.

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