The Life And Death of Pop Icon George Michael
Superstar George Michael left behind an incredible music legacy following his unexpected death on Christmas Day 2016.
Although the initial autopsy results were inconclusive, friends recently came forward saying that hard drugs had re-emerged in the singer’s life, and several said they suspect the 53-year-old pop culture phenomenon died of an accidental drug overdose.
Drugs Suspected In The Death Of George Michael
A turbulent life, masked by success
George Michael first found success in the early 1980s as one-half of the band Wham!, which dominated the charts with singles like “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go” and “Last Christmas.” Though the Wham! Bandmates would part ways in 1987, Michael would go on to enjoy an enormously successful solo career.
Starting with his smash-hit album, “Faith.” Over the decades, he would sell more than 100 million records. Also, win Album of the Year at the 1988 Grammys. He perform alongside legends like Aretha Franklin, Sir Elton John and Paul McCartney.
But behind the glitz and the glamour, there was trouble. In 1992, Michael fought, and ultimately lost, a lengthy legal battle to free himself from his “slave master” record label, Sony Music Entertainment.
Though Michael was homosexual, he lived his life in the closet, and, in 1993, lost his long-term boyfriend, Anselmo Fileppe, to AIDS without ever being able to publicly acknowledge their relationship.
He was arrested in 1998 for performing a “lewd act” in a public restroom caught by a sting police officer, forcing him to confront his sexuality publicly.
Plagued by drug troubles
Between 2006 and 2010, Michael was arrested several times for drug offenses. In addition to a warning for possession of cannabis. In 2006, he was found unconscious in his Mercedes and arrested on suspicion of drug possession.
In 2010, he crashed his Range Rover into a storefront and was sentenced to two months in prison, in addition to a five-year driving ban, after being found unfit to drive to due drugs or alcohol. He checked into rehab shortly after.
In a 2009 article by The Guardian, Michael said, “People want to see me as tragic with all the cottaging and drug-taking… those things are not what most people aspire to. And I think it removes people’s envy to see your weaknesses. I don’t even see them as weaknesses any more. It’s just who I am.”
Michael’s final days
Michael had not been sick in the days leading to his sudden death at his home in Oxfordshire, England. Which made his passing even more shocking. Although a statement from his manager said that Michael died of heart failure peacefully in his sleep.
Andros Georgiou, a childhood friend of Michael’s, in an interview with BBC News, said that the singer had in recent months fallen back to “the dark side” of drugs.
“Hard drugs had been back in his life,” Georgiou said.
“I just think he took too much of something, mixed with antidepressants and other drugs he was on, with alcohol.”
Toxicology results from the post-mortem exam will not be known for several weeks.
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