English superstar singer and songwriter George Michael has died at home at the age of 53. The cause of his death has not been revealed. (Gossip has it, that George Michael died from a heart failure.)
The star – who ruled the 1980s and continued writing and performing ever since – passed away on Christmas Day. Ironically his song “Last Christmas” is the 10th most downloaded holiday song in history. Now, it will also be a reminder of his passing.
George Michael was an accomplished artist who has sold over 100 million albums during his nearly 40 year long career. He became known as a part of the two member group Wham!. After only two years, he went solo and became even more successful. During some periods of his career, he was more popular and sold more albums than Michael Jackson or Prince.
Among his many popular hits are: Wake Me Up Before You Go Go, Freedom, Careless Whisper, I’m Your Man, The Edge of Heaven, Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me (with Elton John), Fastlove and Last Christmas.
His work found the recognition of millions of fans and earned numerous awards:
- 3 American Music Awards
- 3 Brit Awards
- 2 Grammy Awards
- 1 MTV Europe Music Awards
- 4 MTV Video Music Awards
- 4 Ivor Novello Awards
Last October George Michael was nominated for the Songwriters Hall of Fame. The honor is reserved for composers and lyricists whose work made a worldwide impact. (Voting for winners has ended on December 16th.) The Annual Awards & Induction Gala takes place on June 15, 2017.
Most recently George was putting finishing touches on his sixth solo album “Symphonica” scheduled for release on March 17th 2017.
Even though his work took most of his time, George made time to advocate for the LGBT community and was involved with numerous charities. He was dedicated to helping children, promoting the arts, the fight with cancer, helping the elderly, but more than anything: fighting HIV / Aids and supporting those affected. (It’s important to note that he’s done a lot of good and donated large sums of money, anonymously.)
George Michael who is of Greek-English descent was born Georgios Kyriacos Panayiotou in London, England. (He often referred to himself as “The Singing Greek”.)
George’s stardom not withstanding, he had his share of struggles. There were drugs, rehab stints, the loss of his mother to cancer, health problems and legal problems.
His sexual orientation was a secret for years. He revealed that he is gay in 1998 in the aftermath of his infamous arrest in Beverly Hills. His love life had its ups and downs as well. Unconfirmed rumors have it that in the weeks preceding his untimely passing, George was working on reconciliation with his long time love Texan art dealer, Kenny Goss.
On the news of George Michael’s passing, Elton John made a statement on Instagram: “I am in deep shock. I have lost a beloved friend – the kindest, most generous soul and a brilliant artist. My heart goes out to his family and all of his fans.”
Many other celebrities and legions of George Michael’s fans expressed their grief and shared condolence messages.
It’s been said that George was driven by the need to be loved. He was.