by Graham Pierrepoint
The death of Wham! star and iconic singer George Michael shook the entertainment world over the holiday period last year, finishing a year that had seen more than its fair share of colossal names in film, music and TV pass away. George Michael was incomparably talented – from his solo debut in ‘Careless Whisper’ and ‘Faith’ through to more experimental material in the 00s, his career was one which was twinged with media scandal as much as it was chart hits – but he was always ready to hit back, most notably in the music video for his hit ‘Outside’, which poked fun at his infamous arrest for soliciting in the late 1990s. Michael, too, was hugely generous – having donated chunks of his personal fortune to charities in secret during his lifetime.
There was considerable rumor and concern over what could have been responsible for the singer’s death – while the star had, according to tabloid press, allegedly battled substance addiction in the past, the reason for his passing during the night was thought to be wholly unrelated to anything he had taken. At the time, rumors spread that he had in fact died of a heart condition, but coroners were puzzled by what was ultimately to blame. This week, a full and final report has been filed, conclusively pointing to the singer dying from natural causes.
The rumors surrounding heart problems had foundation – his death was reported to have been triggered by myocarditis and dilated cardiomyopathy along with a fatty liver. These circumstances were detailed to have been natural causes, and there will therefore be no further inquests into the nature of the star’s passing. Various media outlets suggested earlier this week that his body may simply have ‘given up’ – it is all the more saddening that an otherwise healthy man of 53 had passed away at all.
George Michael’s family and friends will likely hope that the report will put rumors and speculation to rest, with a diagnosis that will give them closure and space to grieve. Even in his death, certain media outlets continued to pursue for answers – he was a singer that fascinated and inspired journalism to the end. Such interest in him and his work, however, should stand as testament to his incredible talent and his unparalleled charisma. Regardless of how he went, it’s safe to say that George Michael will always be missed.