I wasn’t planning on writing much over the festive period and wanted to do a little review of the holidays after the two big days were over however I felt today that I couldn’t leave it. I have to write something about the passing of George Michael.
2016 has truly been a year of loss with some of our planets hugest stars and talents passing away. Last night just as I got into bed I heard the news that George Michael had died peacefully at home aged just 53. I was floored and I actually couldn’t sleep. He was one of the musicians that I have loved since I was small. I am 33 and the days of Wham were around the time I was born and yet I still grew up listening to them.
Only on Christmas Eve we were on a family Christmas Train outing with some best friends and their children and were all singing along to Last Christmas. My boys know it more than any other Christmas song. Who doesn’t recall at some point in their life singing along to that song at Christmas and you can’t deny the emotions it stirs up.
My big sister loved them and she had a video which we watched on an almost continuous basis of all the Wham hits. I remember how much I loved the introduction to Club Tropicana and how rebellious Wham Rap was.
As I got older I began to respect the feeling and thought behind some of the lyrics penned by George Michael. There are lines I have drawn on from songs all the way back to the Wham days that still make me smile and define moments of how hard growing up can be.
We can all recall how gloriously handsome George Michael was and how clean cut he looked, almost like a poster boy of youth and fun. Of course in later life we came to find out that George like so many of us ‘normal’ people had his demons and struggled at times with his emotional and physical wellbeing and sadly in recent times he has been more publicised for this than his amazing and everlasting work.
I always liked him as a celebrity because he never pretended to be perfect, he accepted that he had flaws, struggles and spoke freely of his uncomfortableness at fame and how he wasn’t prepared for what his career had bought him in terms of his private life.
There aren’t many celebrities who will be found getting up to some of the antics that he did and not only get through them without dropping off the planet but write very successful and almost self mocking music about it. His appearance on James Cordons very first Car pool karaoke on Comic Relief was true testament to this.
I didn’t know George personally, I sadly never saw him sing live and the only close story I have is that once he was involved in a car accident with an Uncle of mine and was very grumpy with him when exchanging details and my uncle asked for his autograph!
I have also read about his philanthropy and how he liked to keep it to himself, the small acts of kindness that meant so little to the people he helped. In fact Esther Rantzen has said today that he is one of the bigger contributors to Childline, an amazing children’s charity and yet no one knew because he didn’t want them to.
Doesn’t it just hammer home to us yet again how precious life is and how we really shouldn’t waste any moment. I plan to embrace this ethos fully in 2017 and I hope you will join me.
So part of the soundtrack my growing up and still moving me today, Rest in Peace George and thank you for the music and that voice.
Some of my favourite pearls of wisdom form George and his many amazing songs:
People, you can never change the way they feel, better let them do just what they will (from Kissing a Fool)
The years will come and go, some of us will change our lives, some of us still have nothing to show (from Waiting for that Day)
I never should have looked back, in your direction, I know that, just the same old fights again (from Older)
I guess that cupid was in disguise, the day you walked in and changed my life, I think it’s amazing, the way that love can set you free (from Amazing)
Take me back in time maybe I can forget, turn a different corner and we never would have met, would you care (from A Different Corner)
Wise guys realise there’s danger in emotional ties (from Young Guns)
Make the most of every day, don’t let hard times stand in the way (from Wham Rap)
You put the boom boom into my heart (from Wake me up Before you go go)
Once bitten, twice shy, I keep my distance but you still catch my eye (from Last Christmas)
You take the grey skies out of my way, you make the sun shine brighter than Doris Day (from Wake me up Before you go go)