Pop Music Icon George Michael Passes Away At Age 53
2016 has been a difficult year, in many ways. It has been particularly devastating, however, in the loss of pop culture icons. Legendary Rock star David Bowie passed away on January 10. March 22, robbed the Hip-Hop world of Phife Dawg. On April 21, Prince’s sudden and unexpected death rocked the world. Two months later, in June, Muhammad Ali made his transition. They are just a few of those who were taken away, far too soon this year.
Today (December 25), as many families worldwide celebrate Christmas, we have learned another has departed. British superstar George Michaeal has been reported dead by his publicist. “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,” read a statement. Michael passes away 10 years to the day that James Brown died.
Michael first rose to prominence as a member of the group, Wham!, with Andrew Ridgeley. They were part of a 1980s “British Invasion” that crossed many seas, along with Duran Duran, Culture Club, Frankie Goes To Hollywood, and more. Unlike the others, which catered to Dance music and Reggae (in the case of Culture Club), Wham! was something different. Songs like “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go,” “Everything She Wants” and “Careless Whisper” managed to straddle the line between Pop and Soul.
As popular as Wham’s 1984 album Make It Big was, with its six million albums sold, in the US, alone, Michael would go on to even greater heights as a solo artist. His 1987 album, Faith, eventually sold over 25 million copies worldwide, making Michael a bonafide worldwide superstar. Michael would never surpass those sales heights again, but he would remain a deeply respected musical voice for years to come.
In 1998, Michael was arrested for “engaging in a lewd act” in a public restroom with another man. At the time, his disclosure that he was gay was the subject of national headlines. While Michael did not run from his sexuality, he refused to allow it to dictate who he was and continued to live by his own rules.
After 1999, Michael’s musical input slowed. He released his album Patience in 2004. The LP was critically-acclaimed and hailed as a “comeback” but it did not achieve the same type of commercial success as his earlier work. It would be 10 more years before he released his final album, 2014’s live album, Symphonica.
Ambrosia For Heads would like to extend its deepest condolences to the family, friends and fans of George Michael.