Callea channels George Michael
Anthony Callea. Picture: Supplied

It has been 10 years since Anthony Callea rose to fame on Australian Idol but the singer is showing no signs of slowing down.

For his latest musical project, the 31-year-old is channelling George Michael to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the pop icon's first solo single post-Wham!, Careless Whisper, with a 20-track album recorded live in Melbourne.

And Callea has recruited some big names to help collaborate on the songs, including Idol buddy Casey Donovan and his own partner, actor and singer Tim Campbell.

"Tim had no choice in the matter," Callea told AAA with a laugh.

"I told him 'This is what you're singing, this is what you're doing'. When you are in a relationship you've got no choice, you do what you're told. It is so much fun that we are able to do things like that together."

Callea is now taking the music around the country but, considering he has never toured WA before, he had no idea where to play in Perth until a local pal offered up some advice.

"A friend of mine (comedian) Joel Creasey is from Perth and he does shows there all the time," the Victorian said. "He told me the *Astor Theatre *would be perfect."

When Callea was 21, he broke the record for Australia's fastest-selling single of all time with his famous rendition of The Prayer.

Now a decade on and the performer has had plenty of time to reflect on his post-Idol journey, which he said had taught him not to take his talent-show beginnings for granted.

"I want to keep doing this for a very long time," Callea explained.

"It's so rewarding when you step out on the stage and all that hard work and all those 'no's you have had in the past are worth it. Over the years it has been great - I have sung for the Queen and Pavarotti.

"When you look back on all those things you go 'This is pretty cool'.

"It is really a privilege to get out there and have people spend money to see you do your thing."

Callea's fifth album, Ladies & Gentlemen, The Songs of George Michael, is out today. He plays the Astor Theatre on September 19.

The West Australian

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