George Michael Passes Away At The Age Of 53
Sadly, on December 25, 2016, famous pop singer George Michael passed away. It's been reported that he suffered a heart attack while lying in bed at his home in Oxford. Fans are placing flowers and memorabilia in front of both his homes in London and Oxfordshire, showing their love and respect for the 53-year old musician.
The Early Years
In 1981, George Michael formed Wham! with his friend Andrew Ridgeley, whom he met while attending Bushey Meads School located in Radlett, Hertfordshire. The duo's first album reached number 1 on the charts in the UK, however, their second album ranked number 1 in the UK and United States. The band's most popular single, "Wake Me Up Before You Go Go," made it to number 1 on the music charts in the US, UK and in 25 other countries.
Due to the duo's success, Wham! toured China in 1985. This tour was so popular, that the local police thought there might be riots during the concerts. The law enforcement were not happy with the actions the band was causing throughout the country and the venues they were playing. This type of music had not been heard before in this part of the world, and the band even attracted the attention of high profile people such as the Chinese Government and the Chinese Television. Wham! defiantly made their presence know to the country of China.
Michael's Solo Career
George Michael kicked off his solo career in early 1987. Later in the year he released his first solo album entitled, "Faith." The single from this album entitled, "I Want Your Sex" was banned due to its highly sexual nature. Radio stations in the US as well as the UK refused to play the song.
In 1988, George Michael began to tour. He, at times had legendary singer/songwriter Aretha Franklin join him on stage. By the end of the tour, George Michael grossed approx. 17 million dollars. In addition to a successful tour, Michael won an MTV Video Music Award and a Grammy.
After all the accomplishments made for his "Faith" album and tour, George began to feel run down and exhausted due to all the press and promotions e had to attend. He was spending too much time away from his family and friends, he informed his producers and all those who worked with him that, with his next tour, he was cutting down on the amount of promotions, awards and videos
It wasn't until his late teens that George Michael decided to tell his close friends that he was a bisexual. After the news, his friends and a few of his family members advised him not to tell his parents. Hiding his sexuality was extremely hard, at times it made him feel like a fraud, and all he wanted was to be himself.
Between the years of 2006-2010, George Michael as arrested on several occasions due to drug use. The arrests were due to class A & C drug possession, as well as trying to drive while under the influence of drugs. In addition to the drugs, Michael was also addicted to drinking and a variety of prescription medication. Due to his drug and alcohol problems, George Michael was sent to prison on an 8-week sentence, however, he was released within 4-weeks. The singer also lost his driving privileges for 5 years as well. The drugs and alcohol were taking George down a long, dark path, he needed help before things got much worse.
In October, 2011, George Michael began to experience health problems. He was sent to the hospital and they doctors discovered he was suffering from pneumonia and was placed in intensive care for quite some time. This caused him to have to postpone and cancel several booked shows and meetings. After doctors cleared him with a clean bill of health, George was released form the hospital on the 23rd of December, 2011.
Again, in 2013, George found himself back in the hospital after sustaining a bad head injury by falling from a moving vehicle. He had to be airlifted to the hospital due to the severity of the injury that occurred.
George Michael was a very successful, talented artist that will be missed by his family, friends, fans and other celebrities alike. Rest in Peace George Michael, you have made a positive mark on this world with your amazing talent and beautiful voice!