Remembering George Michael

Singer/songwriter George Michael. Petr David Josek, AP.

One year ago today, music fans were grieving the untimely death of singer/songwriter George Michael. The pop superstar died of natural causes in his home at Goring-on-Thames, United Kingdom. He was 53.

His breakthrough came in 1981 when he formed the due Wham! with Andrew Ridgeley. Their first album, Fantastic went to number 1 in the UK, with 10 hit singles. Their second album, Make It Big, soared to No. 1 in the US. The duo had numerous hits including Young Guns, Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go, Freedom and Everything She Wants. They broke up in 1986.

Michael started his solo career in 1987. His first effort was with Aretha Franklin, singing I Knew You Were Waiting. His career lasted until his death. His last single, Fantasy, dropped in September 2017, nine months after his death.

Pop superstar George Michael dies of heart failure at 53
Outtakes: Sam Smith on George Michael, Rihanna and drinking

Over his performing career, he sold 115 million records worldwide. His duo Wham! alone sold 28 million records while they were together.

When Michael was 19 years old, he told Ridgeley that he was bisexual. In a 1999 interview with the Advocate, he acknowledged that he was gay. He was an LGBT+ rights activist, and performed at HIV/AIDS charity fundraiser.

A composite photo of George Michael and his partner Fadi Fawaz. Instagram photo by Fadi Fawaz.

Fadi Fawaz, Michael’s partner from 2009 until his death, posted a picture of their faces merged together on Instagram. Included is a poem written in red letters on the cheek, opening with “I will always miss you till the day I meet you.”

His family wrote on his website, “Can’t believe it is the end of the year, where has it gone…?!

“This year has been a series of new and tough challenges for those of us close and loyal to Yog, not least of which was steeling ourselves this month, to hear Last Christmas and December Song streaming out of shops, cars, and radios, as it has done for decades, knowing he’s no longer here with us, missing him.

“This Christmas will be hard without him, but we know that we are not alone in our mourning the anniversary of his loss, and that the sadness of our wider family, and true friends, is shared by many of you.”

Fans left tributes on a multitude of social media sites.

RIP George.

Copyright The Gayly – December 25, 2017 @ 4:50 p.m. CST.