By Becky Holland
I’ve gotta have faith … ‘Cause I’ve gotta have faith, faith faith…
Most of us – children of the 1980s and 1980s can close our eyes and just see George Michael in his tight leather pants or ribbed jeans and ‘bomber’ jacket, scruffy hair and beard, bouncing on stage singing the course to his hit song, Faith.
Us girls can also remember oogling at the good-looking singer, songwriter and frontman for the group Wham – even after it was evident that he was a homosexual. Everyone thought George Michael was good looking. He was the entertainer for ‘everyman’ if you will – and that made us look past his indiscretions and his lifestyle somewhat.
For his music, his music and his voice had soothed many souls, taught many lessons and brought people to their feet.
He certainly was blessed with good looks and a good singing voice, and a stage persona that made him a favorite to see in concert -even after he grew past the ‘teen idol’ phase.
Which is why the news Sunday – first broken by the BBC – that Georgios Kyriacos Panayiotou – George Michael – had died at his home at the age of 53 on Christmas Day – was so sad. According to the New York Times, apolice statement said: “Thames Valley Police were called to a property in Goring-on-Thames shortly before 2 p.m. Christmas Day. Sadly, a 53-year-old man was confirmed deceased at the scene. At this stage the death is being treated as unexplained but not suspicious.”
George had his successes and, like most of us, had been through his own personal demons – battling with drugs and the police. Yet, he was one of the most successful artists of the day – as a musician, singer, songwriter and music producer. Even after the duo Wham broke off, George’s solo career won him multiple recognized awards.
Yes I’ve gotta have faith… Mmm, I gotta have faith .. ‘Cause I gotta have faith, faith, faith
I gotta have faith-a-faith-a-faith
Though his career had slowed, and he had backed away from videos and the limelight – his last full studio album came in 2004, and decided to perform in 2006 for a world tour with a collection of hits. In 2014, he released Symphonica – a collection of standards and his own songs.
George Michael’s passing marks a long list of some of the greatest musicians of all time in 2016. David Bowie passed in January, Glen Frey soon after, Merle Haggard after that, and Prince after that. Can you imagine the concert being played right now?
Rest in Peace, George Michael. Thank you for sharing your life and your songs.