George Michael’s Not Final U.S. Tour

Hedge your bushes and buy some weed, ’cause George Michael‘s coming State side! The 44-year old singer announced that he’ll perform 25 shows starting this June, but don’t expect a repeat performance:

Michael, 44, calls it a “rounding off” of his career’s first phase. “I don’t want to do anything on this scale again,” he says. “No more stadiums. I’d like to be the Tony Bennett for my generation.”

Disturbed by the increasing trend of downloadable music rendering CDs obsolete and talent shows such as American Idol taking the passion out of pop music, Michael says, “it’s the end of a certain era, and I’m not sure how much I really want to be a part of what’s next. So, it’s a kind of a way of saying thank you to everybody before I move on.”

Michael insists he’ll keep making music, although plans to eschew the pop sensibility that has marked his career: “There are other ways I can express the things I want to. And pop music stopped being a place to express much lyrically awhile back.”

Michael also says that he won’t be playing his more youthful hits, like “I Want Your Sex.” He’s looking for a more mature, longer lasting sound, a la “Careless Whisper”, which we’ve reposted after the jump, because it’s great.

Michael’s new direction, he says, will hopefully align him with another musical great: Tony Bennett. Dream big!