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When George Michael visited TV’s ‘Eli Stone’ it wasn’t just a hallucination

Pop superstar George Michael, who passed away Sunday at the age of 53, was known and beloved for his hit records and phenomenal live performances. But in 2008, he also proved game to be part of an endearingly quirky ABC series called “Eli Stone.”

Created by Greg Berlanti (“Brothers & Sisters,” “Arrow”) and Marc Guggenheim (“Arrow,” “Trollhunters”), the legal dramedy chronicled the life of the title character, a San Francisco lawyer played by Jonny Lee Miller (“Elementary’s” Sherlock Holmes).

Throughout early episodes of the first season — which were named after Michael song titles including “Faith” and “One More Try” — Stone had occasional hallucinations, including several that included Michael singing his songs. Stone was diagnosed with a brain aneurysm that partially explained his visions but the story paid off when Michael appeared in an episode not as a hallucination but as an actual client for Stone.

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Seeking Stone’s help to represent a young girl — who played a “prank” by using his song “I Want Your Sex” at an abstinence assembly — Michael had a good time with his role, joking that he was often mistaken for U2 frontman Bono. “I had the glasses first, by the way,” he quipped.

Other cast members also got in on the act, including Broadway veterans Victor Garber (“Legends of Tomorrow”) and Loretta Devine (“The Carmichael Show”), who can be seen backing Michael on his famed cover of “Feeling Good” in the clip below.

So many of his songs dealt with what we wanted to deal with — spirituality and searching. They’re fun and poppy, but also extremely inspirational.

“Eli Stone” creator Greg Berlanti on George Michael

Berlanti told The Times for a 2008 story about Michael that the singer-songwriter’s uplifting style made him a good fit for the series.

“His music, tonally, really matched the spirit of the show,” Berlanti said. “So many of his songs dealt with what we wanted to deal with — spirituality and searching. They’re fun and poppy, but also extremely inspirational, and they have depth. And certainly the song ‘Faith’ itself seemed like almost the only song we could have opened with.”

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From the archives: George Michael has found happiness following his own path

George Michael dies at 53; pop singer was half of duo Wham! before successful solo career


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