Monday, December 26, 2016

2016 Claims Another Legend: George Michael Dead at 53

Breaking my silence of late to note the terrible news that George Michael, 80s/90s pop legend, has died at the too young age of 53. It's a rare year that claims the lives of multiple legends. Bowie. . .Prince. . . It may not be quite accurate to put Michael in their category, given the waning of his star since his heyday. He seemed to sputter out while transitioning from closeted to out gay man, and had apparently quite a few demons he couldn't slay. But there is no doubt that Michael's talent was in their league, and possibly surpassed it. There is no doubt that he can claim a sex appeal in his prime beyond either of them.

There was something obvious about Michael's talents even in his cheesy stateside debut with Wham!'s Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go. You could see it and hear it, there was more to this guy than a novelty hit. His voice and vocal range were astonishing. Clear as a bell, total control. And he could dance. I'm at best an awkward and rhythm-challenged white guy, but what I could manage, I learned by watching him. It didn't hurt that he had a mesmerizing physique, naturally.

And it was that beauty and sudden white-hot fame that seemed to trouble him. He seemed to unravel quickly, and never quite re-ravelled. I think we're all a little cheated for that, though it's surely not his fault. We're certainly cheated by his early passing. RIP, Mr. Panayiotou.

The first song I knew by George Michael:

The sexy George Michael:

The sexier George Michael:

My favorite George Michael song:

The Other Half's favorite George Michael song:

The song that helped me learn how to (sort of) dance:

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