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George Michael covers New Order for Comic Relief

image captionGeorge Michael became friends with New Order in the 1980s

Singer George Michael has recorded a version of New Order's hit True Faith to raise money for Comic Relief.

The cover will be Michael's first new release since spending a month in prison for drug driving last year.

The single will be released on 13 March with the blessing of the Mancunian electronic pop band.

Former New Order bassist Peter Hook told the BBC Michael's version was a "beautiful" interpretation but admitted it was "not exactly to my taste".

According to Hook, the band became friends with the former Wham! singer in the 1980s when they would attend the same parties in the US.

"It's a very, very George Michael interpretation of the song and it's beautiful for that," he said.

"It's very flattering. George doing True Faith is such a great compliment.

"It blew me away when I heard it. Not exactly to my taste, but it did blow me away.

"I think he's done a fantastic version and I'm delighted that it's for such a good cause."

True Faith was originally a Top 5 hit for New Order in 1987, with a remixed version charting in 1994. The group split in 2007.

Michael has been a long-standing supporter of Comic Relief and donated the proceeds of As, his 1999 duet with Mary J Blige, to the campaign.

He also appeared in a comedy sketch with Little Britain duo Matt Lucas and David Walliams in 2005.

Comic Relief founder and film-maker Richard Curtis said: "It's always so moving when people stick with us year after year.

"We're thrilled and delighted about the song, and the wonderful video that goes with it.

"We promise we'll use every penny we make from it to save and change lives in Africa and all over the UK."

The Comic Relief telethon, which will raise funds for causes in Britain and the world's poorest countries, takes place on 18 March.

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