British Singer George Michael’s Last Christmas

George Michael’s Solo Career & Life After Wham!

George Michael, Singer/Songwriter/Producer

Following the split, Michael began to work on songs that would eventually make his first solo album, which would be titled Faith. Michael was inspired by his contemporaries Michael Jackson and Prince.

George Michael released Faith, the 1987 album that cemented his superstardom. Faith Audio CD

Faith by George Michael (Official Music Video)

“I absolutely wanted to be in the same stratosphere as [Jackson and Prince], definitely. I’d gone from, a couple of years before, being perfectly happy with being on Top of the Pops, to thinking, ‘I can do what Michael Jackson can do.’ I mean, he’d just done Thriller for fucks sake! I wouldn’t have the guts now. I wanted to be in that vein but, mostly, I wanted to make music as good as theirs.” ~George Michael

In addition to playing various instruments on the album, he wrote and produced every track on the recording except for one, “Look at Your Hands”, which he co-wrote with David Austin. 25 weeks after its release, Faith reached #1 on the U.S. Billboard 200.

Faith spawned four #1 singles on the Billboard Hot 100: “Faith”, “Father Figure”, “One More Try”, and “Monkey”, making George Michael the only British male solo artist to have four number one hits from one album on the Billboard Hot 100.

In a Billboard review, Faith was considered to have “cemented Michael as an MTV icon and a global superstar” and shaping the sound of “late ‘80s pop as much as any LP of its time.”

Michael embarked on The Faith Tour to promote Faith in February 1988, opening at Tokyo’s Budokan arena, before going on to dates in Australia, Europe and North America. In Los Angeles, he was joined on stage by Aretha Franklin for a duet on “I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me).

After “I Want Your Sex” helped propel Faith to its debut atop the chart, the second single “Faith” aided the album’s continuing sales dominance. It also reached number one on the UK Albums Chart.

Faith is one of the best-selling albums of all time, having sold over 25 million copies worldwide, and was certified Diamond by the Recording Industry Association of America in 1996. The album won several awards, including Album of the Year at the 31st Grammy Awards. Michael won three awards at the 1989 American Music Awards: Favorite Pop/Rock Male Artist, Favorite Soul/R&B Male Artist and Favorite Soul/R&B Album. He was also honoured with the MTV Video Vanguard Award. Often ranked as one of the best albums of the 1980s, Faith was ranked number 151 on Rolling Stone‘s list of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time in 2020.

DOCUMENTARY: George Michael: Got to Have Faith (Amazon Prime Video)

George Michael FAITH T-Shirt

George Michael will live on forever through the music he created and left us.

Remembering British Singer George Michael

George Michael’s Music Available on Amazon

Faith Audio CD (1987)

Listen Without Prejudice Vol. 1 (1990)

Older by George Michael (1996)

George Michael: Live in London—Recorded at London’s Earls Court Arena

Michael premiered a new song, Jesus to a Child, at the inaugural MTV Europe music awards. The long, melancholy piece was written after the death of his lover, Anselmo Feleppa, who had died of an Aids-related brain hemorrhage in 1993, and when it was released in January 1996 became his first solo single to enter the UK charts at No 1. 

Another single, Fastlove, emerged in April 1996, followed a month later by his third solo album, Older by George Michael, which was dedicated to Feleppa. It was on Virgin in the UK and David Geffen’s DreamWorks label in the US, where it went platinum. The album set a record in the UK by becoming the first ever to produce six Top 3 singles. That year Michael was voted best British male artist at the Brit awards, and received his third Ivor Novello award as songwriter of the year.

In 1998 came Ladies & Gentlemen: The Best of George Michael, a compilation containing his best-known songs as well as duets and tracks from compilations not previously featured on his own albums. The album would become one of his biggest, going on to sell 15m copies.

Ladies & Gentlemen: The Best of George Michael (1998)

George Michael

In 1999 came Songs from the Last Century, a collection of cover versions.

Songs from the Last Century (1999)

George Michael Twenty Five (44 Songs)

Perhaps even more surprising was the news, in 2003, that Michael had re-signed with Sony. The studio released his fifth studio album, Patience (2004), and it jumped to the top of the U.K. chart, and, although it would not climb higher than 12 on the U.S. charts, it was a hit throughout Europe.

Patience (2004)

He launched his Symphonica Tour in Prague in August 2011. However, it was cut short when he fell ill with severe pneumonia in November, after the tour had reached Frankfurt, and he was admitted to hospital in Vienna.

George Michael Symphonica Tour (2011)

On November 21, 2011, Vienna General Hospital admitted Michael after he complained of chest pains while at a hotel two hours before his performance at a venue for his Symphonica Tour. Michael appeared to be in good spirits and responded well to treatment following his admission, but on November 25, hospital officials said that his condition had worsened overnight. This development led to cancellations and postponements of Michael’s remaining 2011 performances, which had been scheduled mainly for the United Kingdom. The singer was later confirmed to have suffered from pneumonia and, until December 1, was in an intensive care unit; at one point, he was comatose.

On December 21, 2011, the hospital discharged him. Michael told the press that he had undergone a tracheotomy, that the staff at the hospital had saved his life, and that he would perform a free concert for them. After waking from the coma, Michael had a temporary West Country accent, and there was concern he had developed foreign accent syndrome. George Michael feared he’d never sing live again after pneumonia robbed him of his unmistakable soul voice.

George Michael (December 2011) After Being Released from Vienna General Hospital for Pneumonia Illness

Symphonica (2014) was George Michael’s first album of new recordings since Patience. It is his only live album released during his lifetime. The album contains mostly live versions of songs from his 2011-2012 Symphonica Tour. The album was the final work by both American Producer Phil Ramone, who died in March 2013, and by George Michael, who died on Christmas Day, December 25, 2016.

Symphonica | George Michael (2014)

George Michael & Mary J. Blige

A beautiful Stevie Wonder cover song. George Michael & Mary J. Blige “As” (YouTube Video)

Whitney Houston & George Michael

George Michael & Whitney Houston “If I Told You That” (YouTube Music Video)

George Michael’s Struggle with Depression

Two decades before his death, George Michael experienced a series of losses which would change the course of his life from then on.

In March 1993, he lost fashion designer Anselmo Feleppa, who he was rumored to be dating, to an AIDS-related illness. Four years later, his mother, Lesley Angold Panayiotou, died of cancer in February 1997. Both relationships were crucial for him.

For a short period of his life between the death of Feleppa and his mother, Gavin said he “had a kind of stability that he had never had before.” But in 1997 when his mother died of cancer, that was when his world began to unravel. George perceived Feleppa and his mother as angels, so when they died, Gavin said that the musician “felt as though the universe was out to do him in.”

“From that point on, he could not easily face reality cold anymore; it was too painful for him. He had to buffer himself from all of the pain around him,” Gavin said.

George Michael thus experienced a whirlwind of self-destruction after his mother’s death, including a decrease in his productivity when it came to making music.

Yet, through his struggles and periods of grief for the loss of two of the most important people in his life, he was still able to find happiness in life. Gavin described him as a man with a “great sense of humor” who also took “enormous joy in giving to people.” George Michael was extremely generous to individuals and supported many charities.

George Michael had a soft spot for nurses and even held a free concert exclusively for England’s National Health Service nurses as a thank you for the kind people who cared for his mother who died of cancer in 1997.

George Michael remained a major figure in the music industry even when his record releases slowed to a trickle in the later part of his career, and a loyal fan base ensured that his concert tours always sold out. However, from the late 1990s onwards he was beset by a string of personal crises and clashes with the law caused by drug use. He had always felt ambivalent about the demands of stardom and found it difficult to balance his celebrity status with his private life.

In Remembrance of George Michael

George Michael: A Life by James Gavin

George Michael was an extravagantly gifted, openhearted soul singer whose work was both pained and smolderingly erotic. He was a songwriter of true craft and substance, and his music swept the world in the mid-1980s. His fabricated image—that of a hypermacho sex god—loomed large in the pop culture of his day. It also hid—for a time—the secret he fought against revealing: Michael was gay. Soon, his obsession with fame would start to backfire. As one of the industry’s most privileged yet tortured men began to self-destruct, the press showed little sympathy. This book explores the compelling story of a superstar whose struggles, as well as his songs, continue to touch fans all over the world.

Acclaimed music biographer James Gavin traces Michael’s metamorphosis from the shy and awkward Georgios Kyriacos Panayiotou into the swaggering, dominant half of the leading British pop duo of the 1980s, Wham! He then details Michael’s sensational solo career and its subsequent unraveling. With a deep analysis of the creative process behind Michael’s albums, tours, music videos, and interviews with hundreds of his friends and colleagues, George Michael: A Life is a probing, definitive portrait of a pop legend.

George Michael’s Health

British Singer/Songer George Michael in 2011

On October 26, 2011, Michael canceled a performance at the Royal Albert Hall in London due to a viral infection.

On November 21, 2011, George Michael complained of chest pains while at a hotel two hours before his performance at a venue for his Symphonica Tour.

January 2012: The Daily Mail: Healthy and Happy: Smiling George Michael Displays a Slimmer Figure as he heads out for Dinner with Friends. Just a couple of months ago he was in a critical condition in the intensive care unit of an Austrian hospital. But last night George Michael looked like a new man as he enjoyed dinner with friends in London. As he left the Park Lane Hotel, the singer, 48, smiled happily for waiting photographers. The Daily Mail, January 24.

George Michael in London (2012)

On May 16, 2013, George Michael sustained a head injury when he fell from his moving car on the M1 motorway near St Albans in Hertfordshire and was airlifted to the hospital. On May 29, George’s publicist confirmed that he had left the hospital and that his injuries were superficial.

In 2014, George stated that he had refrained from using cannabis for 1 ½ years.

In June 2015, he checked into a drug rehabilitation facility in Switzerland.

On July 4, 2015, George Michael and partner Fadi Fawaz were spotted in Zurich. The Daily Mail Online Reporter

George Michael & Fadi Fawaz in Zurich, Switzerland (2015)

The Last Days of George Michael (Christmas Eve to Christmas Morning, 2016)

A Memory of George Michael by Sean Smith

George is the story of two extraordinary lives – the private man and the public legend.

Georgios Panayiotou was just eighteen when he decided to adopt the stage name of George Michael. Sometimes his two worlds would collide with shattering consequences.

Bestselling biographer Sean Smith has gone back to the neighbourhoods of North London to trace the astonishing journey of a sensitive but determined boy who grew up to be one of the biggest British pop stars of all time.

Along the way, he talks to those close to George, revealing the real man – funny, articulate, intelligent and generous spirited – who hid behind the powerful image he created.

He reveals the complex relationship with his high-achieving Greek-Cypriot father; the unconditional love of his mother; his teenage relationships with girls; and his first tragic love affair with another man.

George’s career began falteringly with a schoolboy band, exploded with Wham! before he became a solo phenomenon. But at the height of his fame, the world seemed to turn against him. Smith describes his despair at losing the two people who mattered most, how he sought consolation in drugs, his notorious ‘coming out’ and how he ended up in jail.

His health failed him and he died heartbreakingly alone on Christmas Day, 2016.

Affectionate yet honest and moving, George is both a celebration of George Michael’s music and a lasting tribute to a decent and much-loved man.

George Michael: The Singing Greek (A Tribute)

George Michael 1963-2016

In 2023, Michael was nominated for induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

In November 2023, Michael was inducted into the Hall, with Andrew Ridgeley as his induction presenter.


George Michael: Freedom: The Ultimate Tribute 1963–2016 by David Nolan

This lavishly illustrated volume pays tribute to George Michael, the brilliant songwriter who went from teen idol to activist.
When George Michael’s death was announced on Christmas Day in 2016, the world mourned the loss of a huge talent who left us far too soon. Blessed with a dramatic, soulful voice, Michael was a charismatic pop star . . . and far more. With his keen social conscience, he worked tirelessly for charity, became a gay icon who fought for sexual rights and education, and took on the record industry and media. George Michael: Freedom tells his story, from the fun and sunshiny tunes of Wham! to the dark lyricism of his solo work. Featuring informative and insightful text from a prominent music journalist and a variety of photographs from many of the best contemporary photographers—including rarely seen images and some taken during his final appearances—this beautiful tribute paints an intimate portrait of the world-famous musician.

RIP George Michael

Documentary Films about George Michael

In June 2022, the documentary film Freedom Uncut was released. George Michael had been working on the film shortly before his death, alongside David Austin, and provides George’s narration throughout.

George Michael Freedom Uncut (2023) Available on Amazon Prime Video

The Real George Michael: A Documentary (2023) available on Amazon Prime Video

George Michael: A Different Story (2023)

George Michael: Easy to Pretend (2019)

Fame Kills: George Michael (2022)

DOCUMENTARY: George Michael: Got to Have Faith (Amazon Prime Video)

People Magazine: George Michael: A Pop Star Life (Single Issue)

Wham! Last Christmas (YouTube Video)—George Michael & Andrew Ridgeley

 “Last Christmas, I gave you my heart, but the very next day, you gave it away. This year, to save me from tears, I’ll give it to someone special.” ~George Michael

Rest in Peace George Michael

Last Christmas by Wham!

Wham! Last Christmas Crewneck Sweatshirt

British Singer George Michael’s Last Christmas

George Michael Died on December 25, 2016