Boy George, who rose to fame in the '80s along with George Michael, opened up about the late star during an appearance on Watch What Happens Live on Tuesday, January 24.
"In the early days we were competition to each other. Both called George, both made soul music. So in the early days we were really in competition," George, 55, told host Andy Cohen. "Then sort of later on, I started to really appreciate him for what he was as a musician — you know, right around 'Faith.' I started to really appreciate his talent."
As previously reported, Michael was found dead at his Oxfordshire home on Christmas Day. He was 53. After his passing, George paid tribute to the iconic singer on Twitter. "I am thinking of George Michael's family, friends and fans right now," he wrote. "He was so loved and I hope he knew it because the sadness today is beyond words. Devastating. What a beautiful voice he had and his music will live on as a testament to his talent. I can't believe he is gone."
George said he kept in contact with Michael "on and off," but the former Wham! singer was more distant in his final years. "He kept people out," George told Cohen, 48. "He was quite private, so I didn't know much about what was going on."
Although the pair were friends, they did have some heated moments. When asked if they feuded over Michael not wanting to come out, George laughed: "Yes, we did. Not really a feud. In the '80s — Pete Burns, me — we all used to always be really bitchy about each other. It was like the thing we did in the '80s."
Late last month, police confirmed to Us Weekly that Michael's initial autopsy was "inconclusive." Further tests will be carried out, and "the results of these tests are unlikely to be known for several weeks," Thames Valley Police press officer Hannah Jones told Us in a statement.
Sign up now for the Us Weekly newsletter to get breaking celebrity news, hot pics and more delivered straight to your inbox!