The SRO Show – George Michael
George Michael’s Last Christmas
Produced by Lawrence Standifer Stevens
Written by Joseph E. Casanova
Another year has passed and, sadly, another musical artist has gone before his time. George Michael died on Christmas Day.
2016’s holiday season ended on a sad note with the untimely demise of British pop icon George Michael who cemented his place in music history with 80’s classics Careless Whisper and Father Figure.
Born Georgios Kyriacos Panayiotou in East Finchley in 1963, Michael passed away on Christmas Day at his home in Goring about 50 miles west of London.
According to the BBC, his autopsy was inconclusive. The 53-year-old had sold more than 100 million records worldwide and had been nominated into the 2017 Songwriters Hall of Fame.
Michael joined glam rocker David Bowie and Oscar® winner Prince as just some of the talented artists who left us way too soon this year.
He formed the duo Wham! with guitarist Andrew Ridgeley In 1981. Their debut album Fantastic hit the top spot in the UK in 1983 and included the top ten hits, Young Guns, Wham Rap! and Club Tropicana.
The sophomore effort, Make It Big, reached international acclaim and racked up the US chart-toppers Everything She Wants and. . . Wake Me Up before You Go-Go.
The collection also featured Michael’s first solo outing which hit #1 in 25 countries – the lovelorn ballad Careless Whisper.
1987 saw his career hit atmospheric heights with the release of the Grammy-winning duet with the Queen of Soul herself, Aretha Franklin – I Knew You Were Waiting for Me.
That year also saw the release of the controversial I Want Your Sex off the Beverly Hills Cop II soundtrack as well as the rockabilly title track from his Grammy-winning solo album – Faith.
The certified-diamond collection spawned the #1 singles -- the haunting Father Figure, the brooding One More Try and the playful Monkey.
Michael’s sophomore set in 1990, Listen Without Prejudice Vol. 1, featured the politically charged Praying for Time as well as the #2 hit Freedom 90!
The former Wham! front man incorporated an impressive list of covers in his repertoire.
During his first world tour in 1988, he performed Wild Cherry’s Play that Funky Music and rocked Patti LaBelle’s LadyMarmalade.
He impressed the members of Queen with his rendition of Somebody to Love, which he performed at The Freddie MercuryTribute Concert in 1992 at Wembley Stadium.
In 1999, he released a compilation called Songs from the Last Century with new interpretations of the Police’s Roxanne, Frank Sinatra’s Where or When, and Roberta Flack’s The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face.
He displayed incredible diversity on his MTV Unplugged/Listen Without Prejudice – a duet with Brazilian jazz great Astrud Gilberto called Desafinado.
George Michael may be gone but we will always be grateful he shared his Last Christmas with us.