On 25 December 2016, George Michael (one half of 80s pop duo Wham!) passed away. Michael passed away in his sleep at his home in Goring-on-Thames, Oxfordshire, aged 53. He was found dead by his current boyfriend and partner Fadi Fawaz on Christmas morning 2016.
Michael's manager Michael Lippman said that heart failure was the cause of death. A post-mortem was to be undertaken in due course and an autopsy performed to determine the exact cause of death.
Michael is best known for his work in the 1980s and 1990s, including hit singles such as "Last Christmas" and "Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go", and albums such as Faith (1987) and Listen Without Prejudice Vol. 1 (1990). Michael sold more than 100 million records worldwide. His debut solo album, Faith (1987), sold more than 20 million copies worldwide. Michael garnered seven number one singles in the UK and eight number one hits on the Billboard Hot 100 in the US, including "Careless Whisper" and "Freedom! '90".
He ranks among the best-selling British acts of all time, ranked by Billboard magazine as the 40th-most successful artist ever. Michael won various music awards throughout his 30-year career, including three Brit Awards-he won Best British Male twice, four MTV Video Music Awards, four Ivor Novello Awards, three American Music Awards, and two Grammy Awards from eight nominations.
Michael seems to have been exposed to Protestant Christianity as a school-age youngster in England, but as he describes it, the religion didn't have much of an impact on him. He praises England for being secular and criticizes the United States for being too religious-something he sees as a threat to the gay community.
But it's the fundamentalist Christians that he really loathes, as they appear to loathe him. When struggling with a case of pneumonia, the organization, Christians for a Moral America, openly prayed for the gay musician's death. In response to the news, Michael made a point of differentiating between fundamental Christianity and the kind that doesn't think gay people will go to hell.
"I know for a fact that many devout Christians. . . are truly wonderful, kind-hearted men and women who take the best parts of that religion and live admirable, generous and loving lives. . . . But in my opinion. . . there are others who use their twisted interpretations of ancient scriptures as a pathetic excuse to be totally fucked up cunt-sucking bastards."
Here's a listen to some of Michael's more inspirational songs.