Almost one year to the day, Learn Music Guide published an article which announced the sad passing of David Bowie, yet little did we know that this would only be the start of the year’s celebrity deaths.
2016 saw the passing of Beatles producer George Martin, Purple Rain singer Prince, Leonard Cohen and Greg Lake. And just when we thought the list could not get any longer….Christmas Day took the wonderfully talented George Michael.
Whilst the tabloids may be full of speculation on the circumstances of George Michael’s death, we decided to focus on the achievements of his life.
George Michael was born in London in 1963, his father was a Greek Cypriot restauranteur and his mother was an English dancer.
Unlike today’s new pop stars, George Michael was not the product of a reality TV programme or talent competition. This was the real deal, an authentic star. George Michael rose to fame as part of the pop duo Wham, meeting band partner Andrew Ridgeley at school in Hertfordshire.
George Michael rose to fame the hard way, busking on the London Underground and playing gigs at small venues in his local area. However, during the 1980s, Wham started to hit the top spots in the charts, both here in the UK and in the US.
George Michael achieved four UK No1s with Wham and another five as a solo artist. He has sold over 100 million records worldwide and is widely recognised as one of the UK’s most successful chart artists.
Since his untimely death, many publications have documented George’s musical achievements, but there are also details about unknown charitable givings coming to light…
Whilst George may have publicly contributed to Childline or Macmillan Cancer Support, he also gave to individuals.
Claims suggest that he contacted a contestant on “Deal or No Deal”, after she announced she was trying to raise £15,000 for IVF treatment. George gave her the money.
This type of giving does not seem to have been a one off. A student nurse working in a bar, stated that she received a £5000 tip from George Michael to pay off her student debt. Others claimed that he volunteered at local shelters for homeless people.
If you were a George Michael fan or simply admire his musical ability, why not pay tribute by downloading some pop sheet music and learning to play his greatest hits.