On Boxing Day, social media was flooded with tributes and loving personal memories of Cypriot singer George Michael, who passed away on Christmas Day at the age of 53.
As a person and as a star, George Michael touched millions of lives. In the close-knit community of Cyprus, he had so many friends and family members that it felt like he was always around. One of his cousins came to see one of my jazz performances earlier this year. I asked him if George Michael was still performing. He answered ‘no, at least not at the moment.’ I remember feeling a sense of loss that such a talented artist wasn’t doing what he loved, but that he had plenty of time in the future to get back on stage. After the shocking news of his death at such a young age, I feel that it’s even more important to keep doing what you love because you never know when it’s your time.
At the peak of his stardom, George Michael commanded the adulation of millions of pop music fans. His voice offered so much to music lovers from different genres. As an artist, he could have a jazz feel just as easily as a ballad feel. I just loved his ‘Songs from Last Century’ album of jazz standards. He had a strong tenor voice, clearly produced, technically controlled while being finely tuned at the emotional level. His music cheered you on, motivated you to have faith, and was sparked with sexual allure and passion from his Eastern Mediterranean roots.
Extrovert talent, charm, beloved entertainer, catchy songwriter, interpretive artist, George Michael had it all, except for a long life. Taken too young, this star has gone to his place in the night sky where his spirit harmonises with the eternal music of the Universe.
Rest in Peace, George Michael.