Posted by | Ray Cornelius 

It is with extreme sadness to report that one of my favorite music stars has passed away. Singer, songwriter, LGBTQ activist and pop music icon GEORGE MICHAEL has died at the age of 53.  According to the BBC, Michael “passed away peacefully at home.” Authorities are not speculating any foul play and are treating his death as unexplained.

“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,” said the star’s publicist in a statement. “The family would ask that their privacy be respected at this difficult and emotional time. There will be no further comment at this stage.”

Michael shot to fame in the early 80s as part of the UK pop duo, Wham!, with his friend Andrew Ridgeley. The two enjoyed major success with such hit songs as “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go,” “Edge of Heaven,” “Everything She Wants,” “Freedom,” “Last Christmas,” “I’m Your Man” and the smooth R&B classic, “Careless Whispers.” Michael eventually went solo and released such hits as “A Different Corner” and “I Knew You Were Waiting for Me” with the Queen of Soul—Aretha Franklin.

In 1987, Michael released his blockbuster album, Faith which included such iconic songs as “I Want Your Sex,” “Father Figure,” “One More Try,” “Hard Day,” “Monkey” and “Kissing a Fool.”  Michael also released Listen Without Prejudice Vol. 1 & 2  in 1990 which included more of my favorites like “Cowboys and Angels,” “Too Funky” and “Freedom ’90.”  But it was his 1996 album, “Older” that totally changed the game. Michael came back with a sleek new look and sound. The jazz, pop and dance inspired album featured such hits as “Jesus to a Child,” “Older,” “Spinning the Wheel,” “Star People” and “You Have Been Loved.”

I actually got a chance to see George Michael perform live during his last Atlanta appearance in the summer of 2008 at Philips Arena with my concert buddy Rose Scott.  It was his “25 Live Tour” and was a night of magic and so, so many memories.  Check out one of his last major concerts that took place at The Palais Garnier Opera House In Paris in 2014. It features his version of the Nina Simone classic, “Feelin’ Good.”

Photo Credits: Fanart.TV