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George Michael dies aged 53

george-michael

In a scarcely believable turn of events, it has been confirmed late this Christmas evening that pop legend George Michael has died, aged just 53.

His publicist has confirmed that the ex-Wham! star “passed away peacefully at home over the Christmas period.” No cause of death has been given.

George’s second solo album Listen Without Prejudice, Vol 1 was due to be reissued last month but was delayed until March next year to allow more time to complete the documentary the singer was working on (working title “Freedom: George Michael”). George was understood to have narrated the documentary, although whether that work was complete, remains to be seen.

George was responsible for creating some of the best pop music this country has ever produced and although never a prolific artist, he leaves behind an amazing legacy.

Both Wham! studio albums and all of his solo long-players (featuring original material) went to number one in the UK and he notched up seven chart-topping singles as a solo artist, including Careless Whisper a song that had already become a timeless classic within just a few years of its release. His first solo album Faith has sold 25 million copies worldwide, to date.

For now, please leave your thoughts and memories of George Michael in the comments section below. Thank you.

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Shane

We mourn the death of a person whose work has impacted the lives of millions and made their lives better and fuller alone with the gift of his music. Of course we are going to mourn this death and not care about a person we don’t know and possibly only affected the lives of people directly affected by their death. That goes so without saying. So yeah, basically we don’t (have to) care. Maybe we should care about ridding the world of these substances but that will never happen so let’s just mourn in peace and remember the wonderful music and videos he made this world more precious with.
RIP George Michael. He is now with those he loved the most who had been taken away from him sooner than expected.

Nick Hawkins

Aside from George’s own compositions, I loved many of the covers he recorded, live or in the studio. He must have recorded at least five Stevie Wonder songs during his career and they all sounded amazing. Here’s my 10 favourite songs covered by George Michael:

Don McLean’s ‘Grave’
Elton John’s ‘Tonight’
Stevie Wonder’s ‘Love’s In Need Of Love Today’
Nina Simone’s ‘Feeling Good’
Gladys Knight & The Pips’ ‘If I Were Your Woman’ (as ‘If You Were My Woman’)
The Isley Brothers’ ‘If You Were There’ (Wham!)
Was (Not Was)’s ‘Where Did Your Heart Go? (Wham!)
The Miracles’ ‘Love Machine’ (Wham!)
Bonnie Raitt’s ‘I Can’t Make You Love Me’
Stevie Wonder’s ‘As’ (with Mary J. Blige)

…and more

Stevie Wonder’s ‘I Believe When I Fall In Love (It Will Be Forever)
Stevie Wonder’s ‘Blame It On The Sun’ (with Ray Charles)
Rufus Wainwright’s ‘Going To A Town’

And of course:
Queen’s ‘Somebody To Love’

Ard

He will be missed!!
Saw him 5 times live and I must say ( said it for many years ) his voice was the best!
it’s sad that we don’t hear any new music from him. He was so talented.
R.I.P.

Daran

Do you think you can get an update Paul re the LWP sde, will it stay the same or include the new documentary film? Was that new documentary even finished by the producers with George’s voiceover in the can? There have to be some doubts now surely that they would even want to release it post his death.

Jim

Listen Without Prejudice has so much significance for me, I was 18 when it was released and it sounded like the greatest record ever made.
I was a music obsessed fan and had loved Wham! since 1982.
Stayed out all night to get tickets to the Faith tour.
Loved the Jam & Lewis remix of Monkey and loved all the post LWP songs that were possibly meant for Vol. 2. Older was impeccably produced and so heartfelt.
George was one of the greatest pop stars who ever lived and will be sorely missed.

Paul Wren

It looks las though an increasing heroin addiction situation this year did the damage, resulting in a heart attack.

bob

I am so please that George’s numerous kind acts of generosity are now coming to light. George gave away many millions to charities over the years and mostly anonymously, this alone says much about the kind of man he was. Kind generous and private.

Jeff

Very good call Paul……this is not the place for nastiness…..i will admit that I was never the huge George fan but i definitely admired and respected him….and i definitely know the fans pain when an artist who we all grew up with or really spoke to us is taken too soon…this happened to me this year with Bowie and Prince….and as far as nasty comments go, I definitely heard enough of them after my all time fav Freddie passed…and that was way before the internet…god knows what they would be saying about him if he had passed later (especially here in the US)

Andy K

I have added a K to my username to stop me being confused wth the other Andy.

RIP George. A great pop star gone

Christophe

I do not post very often on this forum but I am a very keen regular reader of it. Paul’s blog is great and always full of useful news as I still love buying physical products. I also love reading the comments and it is hard to read through those today. I obviously agree with most of these…2016 has really been a terrible year, politically, personally (unfortunately I have lost my dear daddy only 3 weeks ago) and of course musically. Of all those great talents gone too soon – Bowie – Prince – Black – Cohen …George Michael was the one I admire and love the most for so many different reasons…Of course I own CDs and vinyls of all the latter ones, but LISTEN WITHOUT PREJUDICE, will stay one of my favourite album ever. I am French speaker and I have loved MUSIC from my early teenage years. I moved to the UK when I was 21 because I wanted to be fluent in English to allow me to understand what my favourite singers were singing about. And what a shock when I finally fully understood the lyrics of LISTEN…Such a meaningful album. Music was not only for fun, it was also to make you think. It also opened my mind to other musical styles such as JAZZ (Cowboys and Angels , one of songs that touches me the most)….And I realise MUSIC was not only for fun. Thank you George for this, and your voice is one of the greatest in POP. I never got bored of his best of LADIES AND GENTLEMEN….Such a great legacy eventhough he did not produce that many albums. This is a proof he had great talent. True Artists never die . And now FXXX OFF 2016.

Kenneth Tilley

Wish this year will hurry up and end, what a year.
Rest In Peace George

Nick Preece

2016 is the Worst Year ever! With all the top Artists dying including David Bowie, Leonard Cohen, Paul Kantner, Rick Parfitt and now George Michael @ the age of 53, I was googling to see how Carrie Fisher was getting on late last night and heard the new just after 11pm.
I myself had a massive heart attack 5 weeks ago at the age of 43 and my Mrs Nephew was killed at the age of 23 last week!
What a year to forget !

Nick Preece

Hi Paul, thanks very much, I look forward to your blog in 2017 – Great Work!

Stephen E Cohen

Just before the news was breaking about George Michael, I was reading bits of the latest edition of “1001 Albums Before You Die”, which I got as a gift during the holidays. I was reading about George Michael’s first two solo albums, which both rightly made the list. Then, I went back to my computer room, and I saw the breaking news from CNN, BBC, and NBC News all at once on my desktop. Pretty jarring, I must say (even in this year, where the music world has obviously lost so many). Such a loss! Such a talent!

Alan

I ordered the super deluxe edition of Listen Without Prejudice earlier as it’s a good price for the content (especially when compared with the ridiculous price for the Paul McCartney Flowers in the Dirt one!). As it hasn’t been released yet, it’s about the only George Michael item on Amazon that’s not marked “not in stock”. Presumably his albums will be dominating the chart on Friday.

Chris S

Wasn’t a fan, but hate to loose any artists (at any age)

elliott buckingham

a superb artist who will be greatly missed but on the plus side we will now be swamped with rare and unreleased versions of wham stuff courtesy of universal music

Leemer

I know I will only merely repeat what most others have said, this is really very, very sad that George Michael has passed so young. However, when taken into context of the entirety of what a sh*t-storm that 2016 was for popular music, it’s just absolutely and utterly devastating. RIP GM. My deepest condolences to all his family, friends and to his fans. 5 days left…

Lon Pinkerton

George Michael provided the soundtrack to my life from 14 years of age onwards, through good times and sad times. His music is timeless and I was lucky enough to see him in concert four times from 1991 to 2012. Rest in peace George.

andy

You are all total hypocrites.

If a nobody, local drug abuser/alcoholic who cottages in your local park toilets and drink drives dies you all say good riddance. Because the person sang songs you like it’s all surprise and not fair, why him, why now.

Pathetic.

Adrian

Thank you Paul. The insensitivity thoughtlessness and lack of compassion displayed are right to be corrected. Whether one condones or condemns George’s lifestyle,now is not the time. Now is the time to reflect and celebrate that we were alive at a time of great music written and performed by George Michael. Such a huge impact on my youth. Thank you for removing the nasty comments of individuals . George, what a talent. Thank you for being a part of my music life. Look forward to seeing you again one day.

andy

A lot of these people are dying because of their lifestyle over a significant period.

Trash

While that may (or may not) be the case it doesnt lessen the impact of their loss.
Many of us on here are fans of music and even if we are not necessarily huge fans of one artist or another we can still appreciate talent.

For example I was never a Status Quo fan but I was still touched by the loss of Rick Parfitt Particularly given all the other losses this year (and I will always remember the Quo opening Live Aid).

As for George I was playing Faith to my girlfriend three days ago. I had not listened to it for a while and she had not heard it since it was released. We both ended up dancing in the living room.
Both of us were stunned to hear the news. Another great talent gone.
RIP George.

2016!!!

bob

I think that maybe this is not the place for you. This is a friendly community, if you want to post rude and disrespectful comments on an RIP blog then I am sure there are plenty of other sites were you will feel more at home.

bob

My post was in reply to Andy’s post by the way

Trash

Good call Paul.

Daran

Likewise mine about Andy’s comment about his weight…. Please feel free to remove it now Paul.

AnthonyC

Shocked and devastated!

Unbelievable and so difficult to come to terms with right now.

My musical hero!

:-(

HeavyHeartSadEyes

Bless you, George, you beautiful thing.

Yeuan

George Michael/Wham along with others were very much the soundtrack of my teenage years. Even Status Quo (yeah, I caught up with them late..) It was a time when all seemed invincible. 2016 is mortality thrusted right up my face…RIP George

rough-diamond

Annus Horribilis!

RIP George

Manuel

The first adult album I purchased was Make It Big. The fist time I put a finger on a piano it was to find the notes of Club Tropicana. In 30 years I spent playing and digging inside record shop no Joy Division, Opeth, Dylan, Can or Sex Pistols album ever made me feel guily about the fact that my journey began with George. I feel greatful to him for this gift. He was a real pop genius, just like Carol King or Burt Bacharach. The best white singer with a black voice that ever walked this earth. He will be missed. R.I.P. .See you On A Different Corner my friend…

MiG

Glad somebody here mentioned Rick Parfitt OBE. 120 million records sold, the most hit singles of any rock band in the UK, the soundtrack of a generation. In sales and success terms, the bigger loss. But yeah, what a crap year it’s been for so many reasons.

Kiki

waow…
That was sadly a bit predictable as the news were not very good… but it finally breaks our music heart once again before the end of the year… George Michael (and his former band Wham!) made history of the 80’s, was still here in the 90’s (“Older” was just one of the album of that decade!), and slowly lost his way in the 2K’s… I was still hoping for the rise of the phoenix as I think he could have done so much better than “Patience”, it never was…

The 80’s to me were not that far away, but let’s admit it, it’s dead and gone now : Prince, Michael Jackson, David Bowie… and now George Michael!

Chris Squires

One of the three best pop “Voices” this country has ever had. Two down one to go. Freddie, George and Tony Hadley.

For me being a mid-teen in 84 it wasn’t just the music, it was the soundtrack to the things I was doing. The white Choose Life T-Shirts that I just had to buy, the make-out sessions in the car to “Make it Big”, working in Smith’s in Brum and selling Last Christmas by the bucketload, driving to Coleraine via Ferry to see the most wonderful girl with Faith as the only tape in the car and surviving an awful school trip to Yugoslavia in 1983 with only fantastic on my Walkman. Part of my youth dies with you George, it is gut-wrenchingly awful.

Mark

Yet another 1 of my musical hero’s has passed away, & George hurts the most,
I’ll be taking delivery of my listen without prejudice 25 with a heavy heart.

Tonight the music seems so loud…….

mike

Gone too soon, utterly devastasted. Troubled soul but it never should have ended this way. Utter icon and probably with Prince the defining 80s artist who then carried on throughout our lives. Saw him on 25 tour, sweaty and voice of an angel. Ironic chuckle at jeremy corbyn’s tribute as GM as a championer of workers rights – Wham Rap may well seem to be a long way off but it was an anti thatcher blast! As someone said first Wham! TOTP on xmas eve with Young Guns, great days, The Final on the cd player as we speak..

Brian

One of the first major British artists to insist that his records were not sold in apartheid South Africa and for that he will always have my utter respect.

Alan

I’ve kind of been expecting this for a few years, what with the drugs and the pneumonia reports. Something clearly wasn’t right. Still very sad that he’s gone so young though.

gb

utterly devastated. always liked wham, never saw them – but when
the final gig was announced made sure we got tickets. edge of heaven
blew me away at the time, it was like another level brilliance. would
loved to have seen where they would have gone next … the gig was
amazing. the youtube vids bring it all back, the long intro to everything
she wants, the band/george striding out. great great gig. loved
that they did ‘last christmas even though it was the middle of
summer!! great gig. so many memories. saw George on his faith tour
at NEC. utter brilliance. wished I’d gone and seen his last gigs
but something always comes up.

fave (fave) songs:

a different corner
praying for time
jesus to a child
father figure

sorry for you too Paul. I know how much you were a fan
and how hard it must have been for you to write this post.

Daniel ( from Berlin )

shocking news this morning.
“last christmas” was more a sad love song than a christmas song for me.
from now on it will be much, much sadder.
every year.

Gaston Guillaume

My MusicHero of all time…..
Speechless……
Very very very very very sad news!
Playing the whole day George…..
RIP Hero!

Ben Williams

One of the greatest singers, if not the best, the UK has ever produced. A sad day after a another sad day.

Anyone reading this – dig out your ‘As’ single or find it on YouTube – George singing ‘A Different Corner’ on Parkingson. One of the best things I’ve ever heard.

Also, his version of ‘Going To A Town’ from Symphonica is absolutely stunning.

Can’t believe another musical hero has gone.

mino

For me you were not an icona or a singer: you were my friend…sleep in peace….

Rough cut

What sad, sad news… I was fortunate enough to see him twice in concert, both wonderful shows. The re-issue of Freedem ordered the day it was announced… Needless to say I’m a massive fan and is deeply affected by hearing of his passing… Wonderful music,
wonderful lyrics… The world has lost an immense talent. RIP George. You have been loved.

Michael

Listen Without Prejudice is one of the greatest albums ever made – and Jesus To A Child still moves me to tears. Such sad news.

pinkfloyd

“Time can never mend…
As the music dies…
There’s no comfort in the truth…
I’m never gonna dance again…
Now that you’re gone…”
RIP my Wham! hero

Jules

Touching reflection by Simon Hattenstone in the Guardian on a candid encounter with him. Honest to a fault.

Charles K.

Very sad to read this, his talent was immense. Way too young for this to happen, RIP.

Aevion

I honestly cannot wait for this awful year to be over. Bowie, Prince, and now George, three of my utmost favourite musicians all taken away by the unrelenting 2016. Praying for a better 2017…..gotta have faith.

Rest in peace George.

Warren Mason

This is deeply heartbreaking news. When I think of artists who still had the potential to create another masterpiece, George Michael was right at the top of my list. One of the greatest musicians and songwriters to ever grace the earth.

Very recently heard that “Kissing a Fool” was performed accapella in one take with instrumentation added later. That is mind bending talent.

Mark Wardle

I’m never gonna dance again……at sat with tears in my eyes…so very very sad :0(

John Higney

Watching Billy Conolly’s new DVD with all my family at Christmas first time for 5 years when I get a text about George Michael has died god can this be true and as it was in January my Idol Bowie died then George Michael had now joined the elite club really sad and pissed off but that’s life or death being the reality RIP George.

Todd

So very sad a man that I idolized when I first saw him and heard his angelic Voice I fell in love and have always loved his music and his beauty inside and out he will be sorely miss missed by me and many of my friends that he now joins in heaven for I am a survivor of HIV aids since 1985 George may you rest in peace I will miss you soo

RJSWinchester

Shocking news. Not a massive fan but songs like Careless Whisper, Everything She Wants, Freedom ’90, Last Christmas, etc. are all time classics.

Hub Hamers

I’m really shocked to read about his death! One of my favourite artists. RIP George….