I never imagined I would be writing a eulogy for George Michael – who sadly passed away on Christmas Day – as he somehow seemed immortal.
However, I felt that I wanted to write about him because of a simple irony – he was a hugely successful international star yet, I feel to some extent, underrated.
I must admit that when Wham first came out, I was less than impressed, though did like their classic Christmas hit, which now seems another irony, given the timing of his death.
It was later on, however, that I saw him come into his own, as a solo artist.
I would go so far as to say that he became quite brilliant – a real star.
Songs such as ‘Fast Love’ are a very intoxicating and heady meld of tightly composed pop.
He essentially had it all – looks, sex appeal, a soulful voice, but he also had that indefinable quality - charisma.
However, it was his album ‘Older’ that really touched me. The songs are utterly beautiful, soulful and poignant.
‘Jesus to a Child’ relates to personal bereavement and is about his ex lover who died. He actually donated all royalties of this song to Childline, which is another reason I admire him, as secret philanthropist, done so in a quiet and private way.
In fact, alongside his exploration of sexuality, several of his songs relate to bereavement and if you listen you will hear the saddest and most evocative musical forms of these intense emotions.
He is brilliant at capturing these moods, in the melodies, but also the way he uses his voice - at times truly conveying the most difficult moments.
Another gorgeous song, ‘You Have Been Loved’, brings a tear to the eye and again relates to loss and bereavement.
In fact he captured all of our emotions brilliantly, from the hedonism of youth to the lows in our lives, giving them a form to grab on to.
Although he appeared to have it all, he clearly had some personal struggles in his life which he was dealing with privately. Thus, his genius was sadly compromised in the end.
Yet, as I mentioned earlier on, he was underrated as a star. So, don’t just remember his Wham days. Listen and you will see that he was, in fact, one very fine singer.