ANTHONY Callea has revealed he considered quitting his recording career twice in recent years because of homophobic abuse and insults hurled at him on the street.
But he said he could not have done the record even five years ago because his confidence was dented by disgusting abuse such as “karaoke f…..”.
Callea, said he had thought about “throwing it in” a few times since he was launched on the national stage by Australian Idol a decade ago.
“Things are thrown at you and sometimes it gets a little bit overwhelming, just going out on the weekends, and you wonder why you put yourself in that position,” he said.
“People have shouted out, to my face, things like karaoke f….. or midget.
“That’s why I could not have done this record five years ago.
“But I decided to be me and to be confident.”
Callea had wanted to stage a one-off concert performing Michael’s songs in Melbourne when his label urged him to record the show to be his next CD and DVD release.
He credits touring with Tina Arena in 2012 for also bolstering his confidence to follow his gut instincts.
“We are both quite headstrong and our mouths can get us into trouble but what I took away from that tour with Tina was to just be honest and believe you can do it,” he said.
“She’s had so many doors slammed in her face and labels thrown at her and look at her. She’s a singer’s singer and she doesn’t care what anyone thinks.”
The big surprise for the sold-out audience at the concert was his reunion with Australian Idol mate Casey Donovan, who won the 2004 title.
They sing I Knew You Were Waiting For Me, which the British pop star originally duetted with Aretha Franklin.
“It was the first time we have been on stage together since the Idol finale,” Callea said.
“I got goosebumps when she walked on stage, it was such a beautiful moment.”
Callea will perform The Songs of George Michael on a national theatre tour kicking off at Perth’s Astor Theatre on September 19. heading to Hey Majesty’s, Adelaide on September 20, Sydney’s Enmore Theatre on October 3, The Palms at Crown on October 4 and the Brisbane Convention Centre on October 11.