Jesus to a Child

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"Jesus to a Child"
Jesus to a Child (George Michael single - cover art).jpg
Single by George Michael
from the album Older
B-side "One More Try" (live gospel version)
Released 8 January 1996[1]
Format
Recorded 1993–95
Genre Bossa nova
Length 6:51
Label Virgin
Songwriter(s) George Michael
Producer(s) George Michael
George Michael singles chronology
"Killer" / "Papa Was a Rollin' Stone"
(1993)
"Jesus to a Child"
(1996)
"Fastlove"
(1996)

"Jesus to a Child" is a song by British singer George Michael. The song peaked at number one in the United Kingdom[2] and Australia, and at number 2 in the mainland European charts. The song has also become George Michael's highest-direct entry in the American charts. The song is one of George Michael's best-known songs and was included on the 1996 album Older. It was a melancholy tribute to his lover Anselmo Feleppa.

"Jesus to a Child" was the first of six singles from the album Older. It was Michael's sixth UK number one, although only the third as an entirely solo performer.

After Michael's death in 2016, Dame Esther Rantzen, founder of the charity ChildLine, revealed that Michael had secretly donated all of the single's royalties to the charity. She said "George helped us to reach out to hundreds of thousands of children through his generosity. I met him a couple of times, he approached us, rather than us going cap in hand to him, but it was an intensely personal gift. He didn’t want it to be known or to be part of his image."[3] She told BBC News that "he really wanted to keep his help secret, it was an intensely personal gift. It meant we could answer more children."[4]

Background[edit]

Although it was not officially released until January 1996, Michael unveiled the song in November 1994 during the inaugural MTV Europe Music Awards, where he performed it live in front of Berlin's Brandenburg Gate.

The song was Michael's first self-penned hit in his homeland for almost four years, where it also became his first solo single to enter the UK chart at number one.[2] In addition it was his first solo number one from a studio album; all his previous solo number ones had been one-off projects, either during the Wham! years or as a guest or co-vocalist. At almost seven minutes, it was also Michael's longest UK top 40 single.

On the United States' Billboard Hot 100 it became the highest new entry, at number 7, by a British artist for more than 25 years.

Content[edit]

The song was a melancholy tribute to Michael's Brazilian lover Anselmo Feleppa, whom he met when performing in Rio de Janeiro in 1991. Feleppa died two years later from an AIDS-related brain haemorrhage. Michael had been unable to write for the next 18 months as a consequence of his grief, but then penned the words to "Jesus to a Child" in little more than an hour, indicating that the time was right to move on with his life. The song is written with a rhythm and harmony that is influenced by the Brazilian bossa nova style.

The exact identity of the song's subject—and the nature of their relationship—was cause for a certain amount of innuendo at the time, as Michael had not confirmed his homosexuality and did not do so until 1998. Until his death on Christmas Day 2016,[5] Michael would consistently dedicate the song to Feleppa before performing it live.

Legacy[edit]

Popular Macedonian singer Toše Proeski (1981–2007) covered this song during his concerts, and one of his recordings of it features on his album So Ljubav od Toše (Eng. With Love From Toše), posthumously released in 2011.

Track listings[edit]

UK CD 1 (VSCDT 1571)
  1. "Jesus to a Child" – 6:50
  2. "One More Try" (live gospel version) – 5:21
  3. "Older" (instrumental version) – 5:18
UK CD 2 (VSCDX 1571)
  1. "Jesus to a Child" – 6:50
  2. "Freedom '94" (live version) – 6:04
  3. "One More Try" (live gospel version) – 5:21
  4. "Older" (instrumental version) – 5:18
Cassette single
  1. "Jesus to a Child" – 6:50
  2. "One More Try" (live gospel version) – 5:21
  3. "Older" (instrumental version) – 5:18

Charts[edit]

Chart (1996) Peak
position
Australia (ARIA)[6] 1
Austria (Ö3 Austria Top 40)[7] 11
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Flanders)[8] 3
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Wallonia)[9] 2
Canada Adult Contemporary (RPM)[10] 1
Canada Top Singles (RPM)[11] 10
Denmark (IFPI)[12] 4
Europe (Eurochart Hot 100)[12] 2
Finland (Suomen virallinen lista)[13] 1
France (SNEP)[14] 7
Germany (Official German Charts)[15] 12
Ireland (IRMA)[16] 1
Italy (FIMI)[17] 3
Japan (Oricon)[18] 62
Netherlands (Dutch Top 40)[19] 3
New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)[20] 5
Norway (VG-lista)[21] 1
Spain (AFYVE)[22] 1
Sweden (Sverigetopplistan)[23] 2
Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade)[24] 4
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[25] 1
US Billboard Hot 100[26] 7
US Adult Contemporary (Billboard)[27] 5
US Adult Top 40 (Billboard)[28] 20
US Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs (Billboard)[29] 22
US Mainstream Top 40 (Billboard)[30] 20

Certifications[edit]

Region Certification Certified units/Sales
France (SNEP)[31] Gold 250,000*
New Zealand (RMNZ)[32] Gold 5,000*
Norway (IFPI Norway)[33] Gold 5,000*
Spain (PROMUSICAE)[34] Gold 25,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[1] Silver 200,000^
United States (RIAA)[35] Gold 500,000^

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "BPI > Certified Awards > Search results for 'Jesus to a Child' (from bpi.co.uk)". Imgur.com (original source published by British Phonographic Industry). Retrieved 2016-10-04. 
  2. ^ a b Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 589. ISBN 1-904994-10-5. 
  3. ^ Jefferies, Mark (27 December 2016). "Star-studded George Michael tribute concert to be held to thank him for £2million Childline donation". Mirror. Retrieved 28 December 2016. 
  4. ^ "George Michael's philanthropy comes to light after his death". BBC News. 27 December 2016. Retrieved 28 December 2016. 
  5. ^ "George Michael Dead at 53". TMZ. December 25, 2016. Retrieved December 26, 2016. 
  6. ^ "Australian-charts.com – George Michael – Jesus to a Child". ARIA Top 50 Singles. Retrieved 4 January 2017.
  7. ^ "Austriancharts.at – George Michael – Jesus to a Child" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40. Retrieved 4 January 2017.
  8. ^ "Ultratop.be – George Michael – Jesus to a Child" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50. Retrieved 4 January 2017.
  9. ^ "Ultratop.be – George Michael – Jesus to a Child" (in French). Ultratop 50. Retrieved 4 January 2017.
  10. ^ "Item Display - RPM - Library and Archives Canada". Collectionscanada.gc.ca. Retrieved 31 March 2014. 
  11. ^ "Item Display - RPM - Library and Archives Canada". Collectionscanada.gc.ca. Retrieved 31 March 2014. 
  12. ^ a b "Hits of the World". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. 108 (7): 69. February 17, 1996. ISSN 0006-2510. 
  13. ^ "George Michael: Jesus to a Child" (in Finnish). Musiikkituottajat – IFPI Finland. Retrieved 4 January 2017.
  14. ^ "Lescharts.com – George Michael – Jesus to a Child" (in French). Les classement single. Retrieved 4 January 2017.
  15. ^ "Offiziellecharts.de – George Michael – Jesus to a Child". GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved 4 January 2017.
  16. ^ "The Irish Charts – Search Results – Jesus to a Child". Irish Singles Chart. Retrieved 4 January 2017.
  17. ^ "Hit Parade Italia – Indice per Interprete: M". Hit Parade Italia. Retrieved 2012-07-06. 
  18. ^ "ジョージ・マイケルのCDシングルランキング │オリコン芸能人事典-ORICON STYLE". Oricon.co.jp. Retrieved 31 March 2014. 
  19. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – George Michael search results" (in Dutch) Dutch Top 40. Retrieved 4 January 2017.
  20. ^ "Charts.org.nz – George Michael – Jesus to a Child". Top 40 Singles. Retrieved 4 January 2017.
  21. ^ "Norwegiancharts.com – George Michael – Jesus to a Child". VG-lista. Retrieved 4 January 2017.
  22. ^ "LISTAS DE AFYVE: 1996 Singles (1ª parte)". Afyvecharts.blogspot.com. Retrieved 31 March 2014. 
  23. ^ "Swedishcharts.com – George Michael – Jesus to a Child". Singles Top 100. Retrieved 4 January 2017.
  24. ^ "Swisscharts.com – George Michael – Jesus to a Child". Swiss Singles Chart. Retrieved 4 January 2017.
  25. ^ "George Michael: Artist Chart History" Official Charts Company. Retrieved 4 January 2017.
  26. ^ "George Michael – Chart history" Billboard Hot 100 for George Michael. Retrieved 4 January 2017.
  27. ^ "George Michael – Chart history" Billboard Adult Contemporary for George Michael. Retrieved 4 January 2017.
  28. ^ "George Michael – Chart history" Billboard Adult Pop Songs for George Michael. Retrieved 4 January 2017.
  29. ^ "George Michael – Chart history" Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs for George Michael. Retrieved 4 January 2017.
  30. ^ "George Michael – Chart history" Billboard Pop Songs for George Michael. Retrieved 4 January 2017.
  31. ^ "French single certifications – George Michael" (in French). Syndicat National de l'Édition Phonographique. Retrieved 2012-07-25. 
  32. ^ "New Zealand single certifications – George Michael". Recorded Music NZ. Retrieved 2012-07-25. 
  33. ^ "IFPI Norsk platebransje". ifpi.no. Archived from the original on 2012-07-25. Retrieved 2010-06-29. 
  34. ^ Salaverri, Fernando (September 2005). Sólo éxitos: año a año, 1959–2002 (1st ed.). Spain: Fundación Autor-SGAE. ISBN 84-8048-639-2. 
  35. ^ "American single certifications – George Michael". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved 2012-07-25.  If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Single, then click SEARCH

External links[edit]

Preceded by
"Gangsta's Paradise" by Coolio featuring L.V.
Australia number-one single
20 January 1996 – 27 January 1996 (2 weeks)
Succeeded by
"Boombastic" by Shaggy
Preceded by
"Gangsta's Paradise" by Coolio featuring L.V.
Finland number-one single
2/1996 - 4/1996 (3 weeks)
Succeeded by
"Spaceman" by Babylon Zoo
Preceded by
"Father and Son" by Boyzone
Ireland number-one single
11 January 1996 (1 week)
Succeeded by
"Spaceman" by Babylon Zoo
Preceded by
"Gangsta's Paradise" by Coolio featuring L.V.
Norway number-one single
15 January 1996 (1 week)
Succeeded by
"Spaceman" by Babylon Zoo
Preceded by
"Ex-p-cial" by EX-3
Spain number-one single
15 January 1996 – 12 February 1996 (5 weeks)
Succeeded by
"Children" by Robert Miles
Preceded by
"Earth Song" by Michael Jackson
UK Singles Chart number-one single
14 January 1996 (1 week)
Succeeded by
"Spaceman" by Babylon Zoo