Former Wham! member and pop superstar George Michael died in his sleep on Christmas Day at his home in Goring-on-Thames, Oxfordshire, in the United Kingdom. The singer’s body was found by his long time boyfriend, Fadi Fawaz, during the early morning hours. On Monday, December 26th, Fawaz took to Twitter to share his grief. He tweeted, “ITs a xmas i will never forget finding your partner dead peacefully in bed first thing in the morning.”
- The celebrity hairstylist later changed his Twitter bio to include a photo of him and Michael kissing with the caption, “I will never stop missing you xxx.”
- The couple had been together since 2009 when Michael broke up with Texas art dealer Kenny Gross.
- No official cause of death has been listed but the singer’s manager, Michael Lippman, said the cause of death was heart failure. In a September 14th photo of Michael going out to dinner in Oxfordshire, he was almost unrecognizable as the pop star appeared to be heavy and bloated in the face. Michael was 53.
- Following his death, streams of Michael’s music have skyrocketed 3,158 percent according to Spotify. The Top Five streamed songs by Michael and Wham! are “Last Christmas,” “Careless Whisper,” “Faith,” “Freedom! ’90,” and “Wake Me up Before You Go-Go.”
- In addition to his success, Michael has been a great philanthropist. He’s donated millions to AIDS charities, Ethiopian famine, children’s charities and individuals in need.
George Michael was born Georgios Kyriacos Panayiotou on June 25th, 1963 in East Finchley, London. He met Andrew Ridgeley at Bushey Meads School and the duo formed Wham! in 1981. The group released three albums: 1983’s Fantastic, 1984’s Make It Big and 1986’s Music from the Edge of Heaven.
- Michael released his debut solo album, Faith, in 1987. The set would win the 1989 Grammy Award for Album of the Year. Michael went on to release five more albums: Listen Without Prejudice Vol. 1 in 1990, Older in 1996, 1999’s Songs From Last Century, 2004’s Patience and 2014’s Symphonica.
- In April of 1998, Michael was arrested in Beverly Hills for engaging in a lewd act. In 2006, he was accused again of attempting to engage in anonymous public sex. The singer was also arrested multiple times over the years for drug possession and operating a vehicle under the influence. At one point, Michael admitted to smoking 25 joints a day. Last year, Michael checked himself the Swiss rehab clinic Kusnacht Practice.