George Michael’s music was his gift to the world, and he passed away, December 25, 2016, Christmas Day. Today he is not only making news headlines for his legendary music, but for the cause of his death, which has still not been determined. On December 29, 2016, an autopsy was done, and the results that came back on December 30, 2016, were inconclusive. According to Thames Valley Police, more tests will need to be done to determine the exact cause of his death. Until these tests are administered and the results come back, Michael’s funeral will be postponed. Police are also in the process of investigating and questioning the people who had contact with Michael during his final seven days.
Ironically, the death of George Michael was just as controversial as his personal life. In 1998, Michael was arrested for lustful behavior in a men’s room at a public park in Los Angeles, California. In February 2006, Michael was busted on the suspicion of illegal drugs in London. One of the songs from his hit album, Faith (1987), “I Want Your Sex” caused contention due to it’s graphic lyrics. Even though the song, “I Want Your Sex” was a hit, some radio stations did not play it because they deemed it to be inappropriate.
However, Michael’s fans had the final word of approval, and they loved his album, Faith, so much that it sold more than 25 million copies worldwide and also won a the Grammy Award for Album of the year in 1988.
Despite all the scandals that surrounded Michael in his personal life, his fans forgave him, and they did not affect this musical career of this icon. They also admired Michael for being honest and for having the courage to declare that he was a homosexual in 1998. During this time, homosexuality was not as acceptable as it is today.
George Michael, whose birth name was Georgios Kyriacos Panayiotou, was born on June 25 1963, in East Finchley, London, England. Ever since he was a boy, Michael grew up loving music. Together with his high school friend, Andrew Ridgeley, Michael formed a band called the Executive. Unfortunately, this musical group grew apart, but this setback would not be the end of Michael’s dream.
The big break that Michael and Ridgeley were always waiting for came when they acquired a recording contract with Innervison records and became the group Wham! Their first album, Fantastic, released in Britain in 1982, became a No. 4 hit and was later launched in the United States.
Across the world, teenage girls swooned when the saw the members of Wham! perform. After all, these musicians were young, good looking, great singers, and they could even dance. What more could teenage girls ask for?
Due to all of his talent and a one of a kind voice, Michael went on to become a very successful soloist. In 1991, Michael sang, “Don’t Let the Sun Go Down On Me,” with Elton John. The rendition of this song was like no other. In fact, it was even better than when Elton John sang it himself. All of the proceeds of this No. 1 hit went to charity.
Throughout his life, Michael was a humanitarian who helped the common person as well as contributing to many charities. He made his contributions anonymously, for he did not desire publicity for his benevolent acts.
Even before his is laid to rest, fans of George Michael are looking for a place to remember this unique singer and honor him. There is a petition circulating online to convince the City of London to build a memorial bench in his honor at Hampstead Heath, a popular park which was one of Michael’s favorite places. Up to now, 700 people have signed the petition, which was created by Tony Antonious.
If this memorial is built, it will bring tourism to London as many fans worldwide will come to reminisce about George Michael and listen to his songs, in their minds, as they hear the birds sing.