Last Christmas I gave you my heart, but the very next day, you gave it away! Sadly, his life was taken away this Christmas, another legend gone too soon this year. 2016, why you do this?! George Michael, former lead singer of Wham! and the voice behind some of the biggest hits from the 1980s, succumbed to heart failure at his residence on Christmas Day. What we have learnt so far was that his passing was peaceful.
What he has left behind is a legend like no other. Colleagues from all over the industry, including the likes of Elton John and his former bandmate Andrew Ridgeley paid tribute to him over social media, expressing a mixture of shock and sadness at the pop star’s death. He was just 53 years old.
In a statement through the star’s publicist, his family said: “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. The family would ask that their privacy be respected at this difficult and emotional time. There will be no further comment at this stage.”
It is said that the ambulance service was called to the singer’s residence in Goring, Oxfordshire a little before two in the afternoon. Thames Valley Police said that Michael was unresponsive and confirmed dead on the scene. Officials said: “At this stage the death is being treated as unexplained but not suspicious. A post-mortem will be undertaken in due course. There will be no further updates from Thames Valley Police until the post-mortem has taken place.”
George Michael’s long-time manager, Michael Lippman was heartbroken at the news and said the possible cause of death was heart failure.
The singer was a legend in the making since his teens. His career that spanned over four decades included the sale of over 100 million albums, and several sold-out concerts. Though his career was always on the upward trend, his personal struggles with drugs and bizarre headlines threatened to cloud his career, especially in recent years. He was caught driving while under the influence of drugs and he was also charged with possession of class-A drugs like crack cocaine. He was also imprisoned in 2010 for crashing into a London store while again under the influence of drugs and possession of cannabis.
It is said that George Michael was filming a documentary called Freedom which would take a look at his career and stardom, and was titled after his biggest hit from his solo career. Robbie Williams, his contemporary and another artist who left a successful band and started a solo career, owes his fame to Michael as his first release was the latter’s Freedom, a cover that earned him fame as a solo artist.
Our heartfelt condolences go out to his family. You can read more about his life from BBC.