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  • Susan Welsh

Last Christmas in memory of George Michael


Last Christmas, shortly after dinner, my Millennial brothers were staring at their phones when the news broke that another iconic 80's singer had passed away. Their register of shock seemed more intense than mine, but I'm over a decade their senior and of the age where many of the artists of my youth have passed away. 2016 took some of the greatest and most influential ones of my generation: Bowie, Prince, and of course, George Michael, age 53 (my age) on Christmas morning.

It took a few days for his death to register in my aging but forever youthful heart. The big white T-shirts that proclaimed "Choose Life" for the Wham! music video "Wake Me Up Before You Go, Go", his performance of "Don't Let The Sun Go Down On Me" with Elton John, his duet with Aretha Franklin, "I Knew You Were Waiting For Me". . .

A look beyond the rumors and arrests and often chaotic life of Michael, reveals a man of great generosity. It was George Michael who purchased the Steinway Z1 upright piano that John Lennon wrote "Imagine" on so that it could be enjoyed and viewed by the public. Michael paid 1.75 M and loaned it to both the The Beatles Story Museum in Liverpool and the Musical Instruments Museum in Arizona, as well as taking it on tour with him.

Michael also donated generously and anonymously to charities, homeless shelters and individuals in need. He recorded charity albums, and supported endless organizations.

This Christmas is another opportunity to remember the generosity and spirit of kindness and goodwill that George Michael brought to song and life. Let's bring the same to ours.


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