GEORGE & THE QUEEN!
April 18, 1987 - Aretha Franklin and George Michael started a two week run at No.1 on the US singles chart with 'I Knew You Were Waiting'. Franklin set a record for the artist with the longest gap between US No.1 singles, it had been 19 years, 10 months from her last hit 'Respect' in June 1967. It is Aretha's biggest hit at Adult Contemporary radio, spending several weeks at No.2. The song was a one-off project that helped Michael achieve his ambition to sing with one of his favorite artists.
The song was, remarkably, Franklin's first and only UK number-one, and only her fourth top ten achievement in the UK since "I Say a Little Prayer", nearly two decades earlier. This was also the last of Franklin's seventeen Top 10 hits on the Billboard Hot 100.
It was written by Simon Climie and Dennis Morgan. The pair met in 1983 after Morgan attended an Everly Brothers concert. It was the third song they wrote together. Morgan explained in The Billboard Book of Number One Hits: That was one of those songs that came out of mid air – a gift from above, if you will.
The song was not originally written as a duet. Climie and Morgan pitched the song to Tina Turner as well to Aretha Franklin and Arista Records head Clive Davis. It was Davis' idea to get Franklin and George Michael to record the song as a duet.
For Michael, it became his third consecutive number-one in the UK since going solo, following 1984's "Careless Whisper" (though the single was actually from the Wham! album Make It Big) and 1986's "A Different Corner". However, as the song was a duet, he was not afforded the same status or level of congratulation as Gerry & the Pacemakers or Frankie Goes to Hollywood, the only two artists to have previously achieved number one with their first three releases. Michael's previous success (with Wham!, which included four number-ones) was also a factor in watering down the achievement. In the U.S., it was Michael's fourth No.1 hit, counting his Wham! days. The single was the first Michael had recorded (as a lead artist) which he had not written himself.
Franklin and Michael won the Best R&B Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocal Grammy for this song.