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The music scene lost an iconic voice with the death of George Michael. The beloved singer died on Dec. 25, dampening holiday cheer on Christmas Day.
Michael rose to fame with the British two-man band Wham! before embarking on a solo career. During his time in the entertainment circuit, he collaborated with many big names including Aretha Franklin, Queen and Elton John. Many stars have taken to social media to share their sorrow of his death including Elton John, Madonna, Duran Duran, James Corden and former Wham! singer Andrew Ridgeley.
I’ve loved George Michael for as long as I can remember. He was an absolute inspiration. Always ahead of his time.
— James Corden (@JKCorden) December 25, 2016
Michael was a pop icon of the ’80s with a music career that continued far beyond his youth. “Blessed with good looks and a fine singing voice, his stage presence made him a favourite on the live concert circuit as he matured from teen idol to long term stardom,” according to BBC‘s obituary.
In addition to his music fame, Michael was a celebrated advocate of the LGBTQ community. The singer struggled with his sexuality in the beginning of his career. Once he came out as gay to the public, he contributed to the HIV documentary “Staying Alive” and supported the Terrence Higgins Trust charity.
While fans mourn the pop star’s death this holiday, ENTITY put together an audio and visual playlist of some of his greatest hits.
Though George Michael’s death broke hearts this Christmas, get back into the holiday spirit with this festive cover. Wham!’s cover of the iconic song led the way for many other pop artists to dip their snowy boots into the season’s favorites.
This hit is arguably the pop duo’s most famous single with the music video garnering over 115 million views on YouTube. Wham!’s iconic song helped establish the band’s name in the U.S. market and increase their influence in the pop music scene.
Wham!’s song, which shows off Michael’s song-writing skills, alludes intimacy and class. This sound is reflected in the music video: a strictly black and white visual of dramatic spotlights, fade aways and close-up shots.
Lyrics like “Brand new clothes and a big fat place / On your rock and roll TV” allude to Michael’s journey toward liberation after years in the superficial entertainment world. Michael enlisted top supermodels of the ’90s for the video help tell his story of freedom.
Michael’s high energy and catchy beat will make even the grouchiest Grinch or Scourge want to jump out onto the dance floor and shake it for this song. The video mirrors the vibe with cheerful dancing, colorful visuals and a charismatic Michael.
The pop icon teamed up with powerhouse Aretha Frankin for this duet. While Michael was nervous about the collaboration, the decision paid off. This third post-Wham! single won him his first Grammy and propelled him to solo stardom.
READ MORE: #WomenThatDo: Aretha Franklin (VIDEO)
Elton John, who posted a tribute photo of Michael on Instagram after his death, sang this ballad with the late singer. This live version may hurt fans’ hearts with its fitting lyrics and emotional vocals. RIP George Michael – you will be missed.
READ MORE: George Michael: Fashion Video Music Pioneer