George Michael opened up the new, 80,000-capacity Wembley Stadium with two sold-out shows June 9-10, one day after he was ordered to do 100 hours of community service and given a two-year ban for driving while under the influence.
His June 8th appearance at Brent Magistrates’ Court could have led to a jail sentence but now the troubled star, who was also hit for £2,325 in costs, has the chance to put the headline-grabbing saga behind him. He described being the first act to play the new stadium as "an amazing honor."
At a March hearing in the same court, Michael – appearing under his real name Georgios Panayiotou – pleaded guilty to driving with a cocktail of drugs in his system.
He said his condition was due to "tiredness and prescribed drugs."
The 43-year-old star was also found slumped at the wheel of his Mercedes in Cricklewood, north London, on October 1st last year.
It was the third time in 2006 that he’d been caught taking a nap in his car, and the second time it had led to a caution for possessing cannabis.
Prosecutors told the court that tests showed a therapeutic quantity of an anti-depressant in the singer’s system and a quantity of GHB, an illegal, class C-rated dance club drug.
Speaking to reporters before he went on stage for his June 9 show, he said his court case had not affected his tour preparation "in the slightest."
"It’s just nice to have it out of the way," he added.
Michael appeared at the old Wembley Stadium several times including at Live Aid in 1985, Wham!’s farewell gig in 1986, the Nelson Mandela concert in ’88, the Freddie Mercury tribute concert in ’92 and Net Aid in ’99.
Next up for the stadium is Muse on June 16-17, followed by the Concert for Diana featuring Elton John and Duran Duran on July 1st, Live Earth July 7th with Red Hot Chili Peppers, Madonna and Spinal Tap among others, and Metallica July 8th.