George Michael, pop superstar, dies at 53 in Oxfordshire home

george-michael-net-worth-600x422The legendary pop star and gay icon, who launched his career with Wham! in the 1980s and continued his success as a solo performer, passed away peacefully at his home in Goring, Oxfordshire on Christmas Day. Michael’s manager, Michael Lippman, says the cause of death was heart failure, as reported by AP.

Having sold more than 100 million albums throughout a career spanning almost four decades, Michael became one of the world’s biggest-selling artists.

On Twitter, his former Wham! bandmate Andrew Ridgeley said he was “heartbroken at the loss of my beloved friend.”

The pop superstar split from Texas art dealer Kenny Goss in 2009 after 13 years.

The loss of Michael continues a year of grief in the music industry, with David Bowie, Prince and Glenn Frey among those dying before age 70.

 

—  Leo Cusimano

LISTEN: George Michael’s “White Light”

It's been 30 years since Wham! first touched our ears.

Whoa. I almost forgot about this little dittie. While we’re still waiting on the video, George Michael released a lyric video of his latest single, “White Light.”. The single released June 29 marked the 30th anniversary of the release of his first hit with Wham! This is also following up his near-fatal bout with pneumonia where the singer underwent a tracheotomy. Yikes.

The song has a great smoothness to its beat, but the lyrics play a bit unevenly. And there is a slight different to Michael’s voice. But it’s good to see him back from such a trying illness.

Listen to the track after the jump.

—  Rich Lopez

Queer Music News: George Michael video stills, Mould’s new album, Lauper’s LGBT outreach

In marking the 30th anniversary of Wham’s first release “Wham Rap,” George Michael announced a new single to be released this Friday. That’s last week’s news, actually. But starting yesterday, he’s been posting stills from his upcoming video for “White Light.” The above image was released today on his website (and far better than the darker one from yesterday). From GeorgeMichael.com.

—  Rich Lopez

LISTEN: Top 10 Christmas songs by LGBT artists

Yes, Bing Crosby and Nat King Cole will likely make appearances today singing their famous Christmas tunes, but queer artists have their signature contributions as well. I mean, Fred Schneider’s ridiculous humor may not compare with traditional carols, but he proves we need a little disco year round. And Pink Martini can croon just like the best of them.

Here’s a rundown of my top queer Christmas tunes for the day to add your to mix. Bing and Nat won’t mind the company.

10.  The Superions — “Christmas Disco” This album is a pure exercise in the absurd, but Fred Schneider’s side project turns the reverent holiday into a flat out house party.

—  Rich Lopez

George Michael came out today — of prison

USMagazine.com

The Associated Press reported that George Michael has been released today after serving close to a month in jail for possession and DUI. How time flies. This is what AP said.

The wayward singer was released from jail Monday after serving almost four weeks for driving under the influence of drugs.

Michael thanked those who had supported him while he was jailed and said outside his north London home: “I just want to start again.”

The former Wham! singer received an eight-week sentence on Sept. 14 for crashing his car into a London photo shop in July while high on prescription drugs and marijuana.

The judge ordered Michael to serve four weeks of the sentence in prison and the rest on parole.

The musician, whose hits include “Faith” and “Freedom 90,” also received a 1,250 pound (about $2,000) fine and lost his driver’s license for five years.

I speculate a “Freedom 2010” single.

—  Rich Lopez