Will Young has claimed that he “was asked to kiss George Michael” for a salacious BRIT Awards performance.
Despite being among the UK’s most successful pop stars, and having been nominated for nine BRITs, Young has never performed at the annual ceremony.
In an interview to mark the release of his latest album, Young admitted that he’s not a fan of the BRITs, finding them exclusionary and
“the most vile, toxic atmosphere”.
“Ot’s like going into a school playground with people just swinging dicks,” he told the i.
“It makes me feel sick. It does’t feel accepting. It’s all about being cool, you know, putting people down. I always felt like an outsider because I came from a talent show.”
Will Young told the outlet that an idea was once floated that he could do a performance with George Michael “where we get you to kiss like Britney and Madonna”.
Young said he was not happy about this blatant exploitation of his sexuality.
“I was like: ‘Is that the only way I’m going to get a performance?’” he told the i.
“It was very weird and I felt very snubbed by the BRITs.”
Despite his dislike of the BRITs, Young told the i how much he enjoyed Elton John’s duet with Olly Alexander of Years & Years at this year’s ceremony, hailing it as a “brilliant moment” for LGBT+ representation.
The pair performed a stunning rendition of the Pet Shop Boys “It’s a Sin” at the 2021 ceremony, inspired by the Channel 4 AIDS drama of the same name, in which Alexander had a lead role.
John and Alexander used the BRITs to raise awareness of HIV/AIDS. John’s husband David Furnish introduced the performance by explaining that medication makes HIV undetectable in the body, meaning it is untransmittable.
Will Young has been open about the homophobia he has faced through his career since coming out as gay shortly after winning Pop Idol, and about the shame society has forced on him throughout his life.
Last year he told PinkNews that growing up under Section 2018 with a complete lack of LGBT-inclusive education, he thought it was inevitable that he would die of AIDS complications.
“It just became a fact in my head that I would die,” he admitted.. “It was so ingrained. It wasn’t until I became an adult that that changed. But it’s just an example of how lack of education linked with extreme prejudice created completely false truths in my mind.”
PinkNews has contacted BPI for comment.