London-Guitarist Nile Rodgers has spoken of the “heart-breaking” moment that he learned George Michael had died via a news alert on his phone, while he was waiting for a text message from the singer himself about a new collaboration.

The Chic star had been at George’s house just two days before the singer was found dead, and the two musicians had arranged to speak on the phone on Christmas Day.

Nile had been remixing one of George’s songs and said the singer was planning a “big comeback”.

Speaking at the BBC Worldwide Showcase, when asked about who he would most like to collaborate with, Rodgers told the Press Association: “That’s a tricky question because I always go to the people that I almost work with and it didn’t work out because they passed away and that emotion is so strong.

“I was just working with George Michael . I was here on December 23, and I had come over to remix one of his songs, and while I was here working on the remix I was also doing a Chic concert that night.

But then George Michael was doing a film, because he was planning a big comeback. So they had me come over to his house to shoot the film, and I still hadn’t played the demo yet because I thought it was so cool and fairly drastic, I wanted to just play it for him first.”

He added: “So I get a message from Michael, a text - ‘So Nile lets talk tomorrow’...On Christmas Day, instead of getting a text I get an alert: ‘George Michael found dead.’