Wednesday, 28 December 2016
George Michael RIP...
So I could say that if you dont know who George Michael is then its about time I asked you which rock you have been living under but I guess it would just be easier to try and sum him up. He was born Georgios Kyriacos Panayiotou but known by most people under his professional name George Michael, he was an English singer, songwriter, and record producer.He first rose to fame as a member of the popular Muic group(Duo)) Wham! who were responsible for hits like ''Edge of Heaven'', ''Last Christmas'', ''Club Tropicano'' and my personal favourate of theres ''Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go'' George Michael sold more than 100 million records worldwide. His debut solo album, Faith, sold in excess of 20 million copies worldwide. During his careeer he achieved seven number one singles in the UK and eight number one hits on the Billboard Hot 100 in the US, and was ranked by Billboard magazine as the 40th-most successful artist ever. On top of this he won three Brit Awards, four MTV Video Music Awards, four Ivor Novello Awards, three American Music Awards, and two Grammy Awards.
As a Child of the 80's George's music was a big part of my life I frequently danced to it both at home and during nights out, I took every chance I could to sing it even though my singing voice leaves a lot to be desired and his hits had a serious place in the track listing of my life in general. I remember back when a lot of the games I played on the spectrum had soundtracks consisting of various bleeps that now days would be regarded as a form of torture I used to silence them and throw a Wham Cassette on.
George Michael was more than just a singer though and he certainly touched peoples lives in a much bigger way than providing relief from primative game music, he was was an active LGBT rights campaigner and HIV/AIDS charity fundraiser for a start. I remember him singing Somebody To Love with Queen at a concert after Freddy Mecury's death and thinking wow George is the only one apart from Freddy Himself who could make this sound so good. On top of this Michael was involved in Band Aid, singing on the charity song "Do They Know It's Christmas?" to raise money to help combat famine in Ethiopia, not only this though he donated the royalties from his own song"Last Christmas" to Band Aid and sang with Elton John at Live Aid (the Band Aid charity concert). He took part in the Prince's Trust charity concert held at Wembley Arena, the proceeds from his 1991 single "Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me" were divided between 10 different charities for children, AIDS and education. He also joined other celebrities to support a campaign to help raise £20 million for terminally ill children run by the Rainbow Trust Children's Charity of which he was a patron. This might sound like a lot but I have proberbly only touched on part of what people knew he had done for charity and following his death, many charities have revealed that Michael had privately been a supporter of them for many years. The founder and president of Childline, has come forward and said that he had given them "millions" over the years including the royalties from his 1996 number one single "Jesus to a Child" Apparently he had also been supporting the Terrence Higgins Trust and Macmillan Cancer Support.
There are also tales of how George Michael was charitable to individuals in need apparently he called the production team of the quiz show Deal or No Deal after a contestant had revealed that she needed £15,000 to fund IVF treatment, and anonymously paid for this treatment personally and once tipped a student nurse working as a barmaid £5,000 because she was in debtand he wanted to help.
People could choose to just remember him for his music, or they could choose to remember him for his issues with drugs or the time he was tricked in to exposing himself to a police officer so they could arrest him, You could remember him as someone who stuck it back to the police for this by satarising them in his musical response (Outside) and its video, you could remember him for his political opinions (after all his Single Shoot The Dog is about how the UK under Tony Blair blindly followed the USA in matters of intinational polotics) I choose to remember him though as a beautiful person who had a talent which he could have used purly for his own personal gain and instead chose to donate a substantial amount to various charities to try to make the world a better place for people in general, he might be gone but he will never be forgotten because his music will continue to form part of the soundtrack to many peoples lives as long as there is music.