George Michael’s family and fans are remembering the singer one year after his sudden death at age 53. Michael was found dead at his home in the village of Goring, Oxfordshire, on Christmas Day in 2016. George’s grieving family marked the one-year anniversary of his passing by posting a poignant tribute to the late superstar on his official website.
George Michael’s family first thanked fans for making the reissue of his 1990 album Listen Without Prejudice “Number One again.” The three CD/DVD box set was released in October and contained George’s famous MTV Unplugged concert, B-sides, rarities, and more.
George, who was called Yog by his family and friends, loved Christmas and his music is an annual reminder of that fact. In 1984, Michael and his Wham! bandmate Andrew Ridgeley released the song “Last Christmas,” which would go on to become a perennial favorite. In addition, in 2009, George Michael released “December Song (I Dreamed of Christmas)” with longtime pal and collaborator David Austin.
In the tribute post, George Michael’s family told fans of the challenges they dealt with as they approached the first anniversary of his death, which, sadly, occurred on his favorite holiday.
“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,” the family wrote.
“This Christmas will be hard without him, but we know that we are not alone in our mourning the anniversary of his loss…Yog, who loved Christmas, and always hoped it would snow… would want each of you that admired and loved him, (yes—he knows you did!!) to take a moment, raise a glass, enjoy his music and think of him fondly, making sure to enjoy your time with, and appreciate your family and friends.”
George Michael’s family also appealed to fans to “take a moment and a deep breath and say those ‘I Love Yous’ out loud” to their own family and friends before they run out of time to do so.
The message was signed by George Michael’s sisters, Melanie and Yioda, his father Jack, and childhood pal David Austin.
Many of George Michael’s fans also paid tribute to the singer on the first anniversary of his death. The Metro posted photos of George’s fans leaving photos, flowers, candles, and other tributes outside of his former home. In addition, George Michael’s ex-partner, Fadi Fawaz, took to social media to pay tribute to the late English singer, posting an Instagram image which appears to be a combination of his face and George’s face with the words, “I will always miss you till the day I meet you” and more. Fadi captioned the picture with, “It is what it is.”
Fawaz also posted another message with a poem and the caption, “Merry Christmas to you George.”
You can see George Michael in the music video for one of his biggest Christmas songs with Wham! in the video below.