George Michael the 1980’s pop icon is dead at 53

George Michael was one of the best of his generation died at 53 from heart failure

George Michael,1980’s pop icon died on Christmas day of heart failure at the age of 53. The news of his death stunned the rock and pop cultural world, both mourned the loss of one of the great voices of his era.

George Michael “passed away peacefully” at home, according to his publicist. His manager, Michael Lippman, said the singer had died from heart failure in bed.

He was set to release a documentary in 2017, rose to fame as half of Wham!, known for their hits Club Tropicana and Last Christmas. He had a highly successful solo career that included the songs Careless Whisper, Faith, Outside and Freedom! 90.

George Michael – who was born Georgios Kyriacos Panayiotou – had 11 No 1s and sold more than 100m albums during a career spanning almost four decades. His last album, Symphonica, was released in 2014.

Despite his great talent, he never found a niche for himself as a senior statesman of the rock world. His fans stuck with him despite it all, and many expected one more comeback. People rooted for Michael, even as they felt he was slipping away, giving in to his torment.

George Michael shot to stardom at an early age in the teen duo WHAM! and moved smoothly into a solo career. It was a classic showbiz story – a lad named Georgios Panayiotou with strong Greek Cypriot roots takes the name George Michael and forms a band with Andrew Ridgeley that brings him wealth and worldwide fame.

Photos and videos from that era show Michael with long locks, piercing eyes and a show-stopping smile. He was made for MTV, which was emerging as a dominant force, and he had a powerful video presence, borrowing some of his dance moves from Elvis Presley and sometimes styling himself as a motorcycle rebel who would have made James Dean or Marlon Brando proud.

He had one of best voices of any singer of his generation, he often was paired with some of the biggest names in the music business, all-time greats like Aretha Franklin, Ray Charles, Luciano Pavarotti and Elton John, for starters. Their willingness to share the spotlight was a sure sign of the way George Michael talents were appreciated by fellow musicians.

Video from CNN 

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Jim Williams is the Washington Bureau Chief, Digital Director as well as the Director of Special Projects for Genesis Communications. He is starting his third year as part of the team. This is Williams 40th year in the media business, and in that time he has served in a number of capacities. He is a seven time Emmy Award winning television producer, director, writer and executive. He has developed four regional sports networks, directed over 2,000 live sporting events including basketball, football, baseball hockey, soccer and even polo to name a few sports. Major events include three Olympic Games, two World Cups, two World Series, six NBA Playoffs, four Stanley Cup Playoffs, four NCAA Men’s National Basketball Championship Tournaments (March Madness), two Super Bowl and over a dozen college bowl games. On the entertainment side Williams was involved s and directed over 500 concerts for Showtime, Pay Per View and MTV Networks.