George Michael: His Rise and Departure from the U.S.


George Michael’s death on December 25, 2016 was preceded by a life of musical success, hard personal times, and a struggle with the business world that stood between his love for music and delivering it to his fans around the globe.  He has performed and recorded with R&B diva’s Mary J. Blige and Aretha Franklin, the great Sir Elton John, and the duo he was a part of Wham! receiving 2 Grammy’s and spent over 15 years on his “25 Live” world tour.

His early days with Wham! Led him to much success and acclaim with a nice 12 week stay at the top of the music charts.  The duo was best known for hits like “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go”.  He left the group and bandmate Andrew Ridgeley behind and grew into a successful solo artist with the release of “Faith” in 1987.  The album, featuring the single “Careless Whisper” took the airwaves by storm and rose to remain in the top 10 of the Billboard 200 for almost a full year.

Conflict began between Michael and Sony records shortly after amid disagreements over the follow-up album’s promotion. Like Prince, he sued Sony but lost, and the artist eventually paid Sony millions to be released from his contract. More tumultuous for the artist was the 1998 lewd act arrest which forced him to come out as gay. He was not able to do this on his own terms and he sadly watched the tide turn for him with the negative response from American audiences. What followed were a number of arrests involving public lewdness which led to his return to UK.  American fans who stayed true were able to catch Michael in the last few years when he appeared on American Idol and “carpooled” with James Corden in 2011.  The 53-year old was found dead of apparent heart failure at his home in Oxfordshire, England by boyfriend, Fadi Fawaz. 


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