This year has brought about some extreme changes including the loss of some amazing icons in music. After the deaths of David Bowie, Prince and Leonard Cohen we have to say goodbye, yet again, to another legend. George Michael, aged 53, passed away yesterday morning in his home from heart failure. Thankfully he left behind a long list of work and accomplishments for us to enjoy and remember him by. Let’s take a look back at his career and life.
George Michael was born Georgios Kyriacos Panayiotou on June 25 1963 in London. In his early teens he met Andrew Ridgeley who later became his music partner in the group Wham!. In 1983 the duo’s first album reached No. 1 in the UK and their second album found major success, reaching No. 1 on the charts in the states. After a few successful solo singles, the group officially separated and Michael went after a solo career. After major success from his duet with Aretha Franklin he debuted his first solo album in 1987. This was the beginning of a ripe career that lasted about 4 decades, selling more than 100 million albums worldwide.
Along with his artistic accomplishments in pop music, Michael was also an advocate for LGBT and workers rights. He had a few run ins with the law, one incident in particular brought his sexual orientation to light. After years of speculation he revealed he was homosexual and was in a relationship with Kenny Goss. He struggled with addiction, was arrested for drugs and had a court case against the record label Sony, which he lost to.
December 25, 2016 An ambulance was sent to Michael’s home at around 1:42pm in Goring, Oxfordshire. The cause of death has yet to be determined but his manager says the singer died in his sleep from heart failure.
In a statement, the star’s publicist said: “It is with great sadness that we can confirm our beloved son, brother and friend George passed away peacefully at home over the Christmas period. The family would ask that their privacy be respected at this difficult and emotional time. There will be no further comment at this stage.”
Despite his turbulent personal life, it’s no doubt that George Michael was a one of a kind musical talent that will always be remembered. Here’s a few of Michael’s greatest hits.