The Music Room #25: A Tribute To George Michael

themusicroom

I guess the universe doesn’t want me to do a post about the top 10 worst Christmas songs of all time, this is the second year in a row that I was planning to do that as the month’s post but of course, we lost another musical icon on Christmas, George Michael:

George Michael.jpeg

Georgios Kyriacos Panayiotou (25 June 1963 – 25 December 2016), known professionally as George Michael, was an English singer, songwriter, and record producer who rose to fame as a member of the music duo Wham! He is best known for his work in the 1980s and 1990s, including hit singles such as “Last Christmas” and “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go”, and albums such as Faith (1987) and Listen Without Prejudice Vol. 1 (1990).

Michael sold more than 100 million records worldwide. His debut solo album, Faith (1987), sold more than 20 million copies worldwide. Michael garnered seven number one singles in the UK and eight number one hits on the Billboard Hot 100 in the US, including “Careless Whisper” and “Freedom! ’90”. He ranks among the best-selling British acts of all time, ranked by Billboard magazine as the 40th-most successful artist ever. Michael won various music awards throughout his 30-year career, including three Brit Awards—he won Best British Male twice, four MTV Video Music Awards, four Ivor Novello Awards, three American Music Awards, and two Grammy Awards from eight nominations. Michael, who was gay, was an active LGBT rights campaigner and HIV/AIDS charity fundraiser.

In 2004, the Radio Academy named Michael the most played artist on British radio during the period 1984–2004. The documentary A Different Story (released in 2005) covered his career and personal life. Michael’s first tour in 15 years, the worldwide 25 Live tour, spanned three tours over the course of three years (2006, 2007, and 2008). In the early hours of 25 December 2016, Michael, aged 53, was found dead in bed at his Oxfordshire home.

As of this post, the death is being ruled is that Michael passed away because of heart failure but an autopsy has yet to be determined at the time of the release of this post.

George Michael may have never quite had the superstardom as a musician like Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston, or Prince but he definitely had his place in history in the world of music beginning with his career with Wham!, who could forget classic songs from Wham! such as Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go:

Ah, 80s cheese, gotta love it. There was also Freedom:

The perennial holiday favorite, Last Christmas:

And of course, can’t forget Careless Whisper:

Careless Whisper effectively began the solo career for Michael but the song that put his solo career on the start was Faith:

Other memorable songs from his solo career run included I Want Your Sex:

Father Figure:

Freedom! ’90:

Like I said, he definitely has his place in music creating great memorable songs and creating this image of Michael that was his own and established his career as a solo performer very well.

From the late 80s to the early 90s, Michael kept himself in the spotlight but after the 1998 arrest for engaging in a lewd act in a public restroom, which ended up forcing him to come out of the closet, he didn’t really do that much for a couple of years. He came back in 2004 with the album, Patience, selling about 4 million copies worldwide and went back on tour in 2006 for a 2 year concert tour and would occasionally appear on different tours and put out one more album in 2014 called Symphonica.

Michael did appear as an actor in several things, being shown a lot during the first season of ABC’s underrated series, Eli Stone, as himself and most recently, cameoed in the Key & Peele movie, Keanu.

Again, never really having the superstardom that Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston, or Prince had but George Michael did leave behind an excellent run of solid music that many of us will continue to listen to for decades to come

RIP George Michael

1963 – 2016

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