George Michael’s sudden death still is a major shock and was the sour cherry on the top of the pile of poo ice cream that 2016 was in many aspects, so I decided to look back at some important moments in George’s career, with some of those moments being very close to my existence. The list could have hundreds of moments but I chose only ten to keep things short and sweet.
Here we go…
1 – “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go”
George wrote and produced the track that turned him and Wham! into a 1st class act around the world. “Wake Me Up” was the first number one hit for the duo in the UK and in America back in 1984, it was also the track that along with its music video changed their images, from a politically influenced pop act to a colourful and fluffy pop act.
The video for “Wake Me Up” was filmed in London’s famous Brixton Academy and shows George wearing the famous “Choose Life” t-shirt, the now iconic fluorescent accessories and busting some of his legendary moves.
During an interview back in 1984 George said about the song: “I JUST WANTED TO MAKE A REALLY ENERGETIC POP RECORD, COMBINED WITH OUR ATTITUDE.”
He sure did it as “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go” it’s now an ultimate pop classic, still infectious and relevant to this day.
2 – Another of George’s eternal stamp on pop music’s history is “Last Christmas”, probably one of the most popular songs during the holiday season year after year. He wrote and produced the song released in 1984 that was a B-side for “Everything She Wants”. “Last Christmas” never reached the top of the charts in the UK but so far it has sold almost two million copies and no Christmas is the same if “Last Christmas” doesn’t get played over and over and over. Also, the video of this classic never gets old and we can look at the young and handsome George forever!!!!
3 – In 1987 George released “Faith” his first solo album that thanks to its fantastic track list cemented George as one of the world’s most talented and successful pop stars, also during the “Faith” era George upgraded his image, from cheesy pop singer to super sexy, grown-up man. The sexy symbol was born!!!
“Faith” went on to sale over 25 million copies worldwide and win “Album of the Year” at the 1989 Grammy Awards. I had a poster of the album cover in my bedroom wall for years and years.
George’s first solo album has got to be one of the best and most memorable debut album in history, the body of work is pure perfection and includes classic songs like “Father Figure” and “One More Try”.
4 – The song “Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me” was already a hit for George Michael and fellow legend Elton John in 1991, they performed the song at the Live Aid concert back in 1985 but the song hit an all time popularity when during his 1991 “Cover To Cover Tour” nights in Wembley, George brought Elton on stage to perform the song for the first time since Live Aid.
That surprising performance went on to get an official release, got nominated at the Grammy’s and topped the charts in the UK and in America.
The song now it’s a must for anyone who goes to a karaoke bar and the official video released is just one of the many proofs of how talented and amazing George Michael was.
From that moment on, George Michael have transformed into a superstar, a first class act, a diva, a pop music legend and icon that forever is going to be idolised.
5 – In 1990 George released a masterpiece in the shape of his second solo album “Listen Without Prejudice Vol.1” and one of the singles released of that album was the iconic track “Freedom’90”, it is the song of a generation, the MTV generation. It’s catchy, still relevant and one of my all time favourite songs.
At the time George was resenting the fame and attention he was getting, he was feeling cynical about the press and to make a point he decided not to appear on the music video for “Freedom’90” and what might have been some sort of protest, turned out to be all the perfect material to create one of the most iconic music videos of pop history, George managed to feature on his video supermodels of the likes of Cindy Crawford, Christy Turlington, Linda Evangelista and Naomi Campbell.
The real deal if you know what I mean…
The video is fierce, fabulous, strong, simple but yet classy and I could watch it on the loop for the rest of my life if I had to.
6 – During the late 90’s George Michael faced huge scrutiny from the media, with the star being massively judged, talked about and shamed all over the press after the scandal involving an undercover police officer in a public toilet in Beverly Hills got exposed, which led to George officially getting out of Nárnia.
But that didn’t fazed the legend, instead he shut all them haters up with “Outside”, one of the best songs and music video he’s ever released. With lyrics like: “I’D SERVICE THE COMMUNITY BUT I ALREADY HAVE, YOU SEE” George basically was saying “FUCK YOU!!!”.
I remember how big and polemic the video was when first came out, I watched over and over and over, every single time MTV showed the video, even when they only showed late at night. Such a classic!!! Such a groundbreaking video, years and years ahead of its time
7 – Ahead of the release of the amazing “Patience” LP in 2004 George released one of his best songs EVAAAAHHH!!!
George Michael’s “Freeek!”, what can I say??? It changed my life, his vocals are so fierce and strong on that song it’s just unbelievable my squirrel friends. I remember perfectly buying the single and playing the song over and over and over. The beat, the bass line of this song still drives me crazy every time I hear it. Its music video was at the time the most expensive music video ever made and again, ahead of its time as it caused so much controversy because of its sexual content.
George looks like a God on that video, the visuals are still eye catching and superb to say the least. If that was George’s idea of the future, I’m packed and ready to go with him. It’s sexy, fierce, aggressive, powerful!!!
8 – Also from “Patience” came the politically focused “Shoot The Dog” that with its cartoony music video also got people talking and I remember that MTV Brazil had a show where they discussed the video for over a week and how cool it was to watch some of the presenters getting really worked up defending George and the song.
9 – I’ve been a George Michael fan since I can remember, I’ve also been a Beyoncé fan since I can remember, so when in 2009 during her “I Am… Tour” in London Beyoncé brought George Michael on stage to sing her hit “If I Were A Boy” with her I almost died.
It was a beautiful moment and I couldn’t believe my luck. I can also say that watching two of my biggest icons sharing the same stage was one of my life’s highlights, a moment that I’ll never forget and will cherish until the day I die. I’m not exaggerating!!!
10 – George’s performance at the 2012 London Olympics closing ceremony was the subject of much discussion and got a lot of shade thrown at it and I still don’t know why, people can and will be shady just for the sake of it sometimes. He’s always been a private person but still went there in front of the thousands of people in attendance and the billions of people who watched the ceremony via television and the internet or whatever and delivered a fantastic performance of the iconic “Freedom’90” and new track “White Light” but, still he got so much shit for it that took away the sparkles his performance had it.
Internet and media trolls focused their articles on the way he looked, if performing an unknown song was purely self promotion or even worse, some criticised his vocals and do you know what I have to say to all of those disgusting trolls??? FUCK YOU!!!
I’m sorry but regardless everything that was going on in his life, George went there, showed his love for his country and delivered an impeccable performance.
He looked amazing and the smile he had on his face throughout the entire performance was beautiful and contagious. Like the superstar he was, George had the entire audience on their feet and drawn to him while he entertained them with two amazing songs.
He was an icon, a master of his craft and a legend that through his work will live forever.
I know that I’m not the only young man he impressed and influenced in many ways and I’m also 100% sure that I’m not the only one that will love and miss him forever even though I’ve never met him in person.
George, we will love you forever!!!