I’m so done with 2016.
George Michael, Pop Superstar, Has Died at 53
By JON PARELES
DEC. 25, 2016
George Michael, the creamy-voiced English songwriter who sold tens of millions of albums in the duo Wham! and on his own, died Sunday at his home in Goring in Oxfordshire, England, a statement from his publicist said. According to BBC News, the police reported no suspicious circumstances. He was 53.
“It is with great sadness that we can confirm our beloved son, brother and friend George passed away peacefully at home over the Christmas period,” his publicist Connie Filippello said in a statement.
Mr. Michael was one of pop’s reigning stars in the 1980s and 1990s — first as a handsome, smiling, teenypop idol making lighthearted singles like “Wake Me Up Before You Go Go” with Wham!, then arriving as a grown-up pop sex symbol with his 1987 album “Faith.”
But he went on to try and repudiate pop superficiality, turning to more mature statements — but never abandoning songs about love and lust — in his later solo career. Mr. Michael wrote supple ballads, like “Careless Whisper” and “Father Figure,” as well as buoyant dance tracks like “Freedom ’90” and “I Want Your Sex.” For much of his career, including his best-selling albums “Faith” and “Listen Without Prejudice Vol. 1,” he was also his own producer and studio backup band. Mr. Michael won a Grammy Award for “I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me),” a duet with Aretha Franklin, and his 1987 album “Faith” won the Grammy as album of the year.
In 1998, Mr. Michael came out as a gay man after being arrested on charges of lewd conduct in a men’s room in Beverly Hills. He had long lent his name and music to support AIDS prevention and gay rights. Later, he said that hiding his sexuality had made him feel “fraudulent.”
During the 2000s, Mr. Michael’s output slowed; his last studio album of new songs was “Patience” in 2004. But 25 years into his career, he could still headline stadiums worldwide.