Oh, those crazy 1980s! He won me over big with Wham! & Careless Whisper in 1984 (my favorite year of my life, so far), & I never let him go. The hits kept coming & I was right there for the next 25+ years. I am just a sucker for a hot ass in a tight pair of jeans, a leather jacket, & some stubble. Add in those phenomenal pipes & the killer hooks & it is a love affair for Stephen. The love has never wavered.
George Michael was the 1st white male to top the Black Music charts & the 1st white male to duet with Aretha Franklin with the infectious single- I Knew You Were Waiting. His breakout solo album Faith (1987) had 5 #1 hit singles & spent 51 weeks in the Billboard Top 10, including 12 weeks at #1.
Faith left Michael struggling to deal with his secret homosexuality. The feelings of loneliness, disaffection were themes in his next album- Listen Without Prejudice Vol.1. (1990) The album had a more soulful & stripped-down sound, producing 5 U.S. Top 40 hits: Waiting For That Day, Cowboys & Angels, Heal the Pain, Praying for Time & the personal confessional song Freedom! 90. It sold 7 million copies & spent 42 weeks in the Billboard Top 100 charts.
George Michael's album- Older is my personal favorite, an album that speaks to me in a deep personal way. Older was the soundtrack of my life in the late 1990s & I was moved by the title track & the mournful Like Jesus To A Child in a way the was profound & very moving. Like Jesus To A Child is a salutation to Michael’s secret partner- Brazilian fashion designer Anselmo Feleppa. Feleppa had died 3 years earlier of an AIDS-related brain hemorrhage, leaving Michael feeling alone & despondent. Michael was not openly gay & no one knew who the song was about. Older went on to sell more than 12 million copies worldwide & spent more than 96 weeks on the charts.
After grappling with the death of Feleppa, he met his future husband, American Kenny Goss. In 2005, Goss opened the Goss Gallery in Dallas, which shows contemporary art, including those collected by the couple. They had homes in London & Dallas. While the joy of his new relationship started to ease his pain, he soon lost his mother to skin cancer, a loss that tormented George for several years. He did not write or record during that period, except Songs From The Last Century, an album of standards & covers in 2000. On the opening night of his world tour in 2011, Michael announced that he & Goss had split 2 years earlier.
In 1998, Michael was arrested in Beverly Hills on a charge of lewd conduct in a park bathroom. Who of us has not? The arrest made worldwide headlines & led him to come out of the closet. He poked fun at the arrest in the hit single- Outside.
In 2004 Michael released Patience, which sold more than 200,000 copies in the first week. It spun several Top 10 hits including Freeek!, Amazing & Flawless (Go to the City), all dedicated to Kenny Goss. In 2006, George Michael announced his 1st tour in 15 years. The 25 Live Tour was a massive & worldwide, & spanned 3 individual tours over the course of 3 years.
I was in a panic when he almost died. Michael was admitted to hospital in Vienna, in November 2011, after complaining of chest pains at a hotel while on tour. Michael later confirmed that he had suffered from pneumonia & was in an intensive-care unit for more than a month. Michael's current partner, celebrity hairstylist Fadi Fawaz, was at his side. Michael made a public speech in London about how the staff at the Vienna General Hospital had saved his life & how he was so grateful that he was going to perform a concert for the staff. While making the speech, he became emotional & became breathless & he mentioned he had undergone a tracheotomy.
With Fawaz this spring
I am rathered pleased that he lived. 30 years after the first Wham! Single- Wham Rap, written with Andrew Ridgeley entered the British charts, Michael released his most recent song- White Light to celebrate & commemorate those 30 years on the exact anniversary of that chart date.