George Michael’s Death: Elton John, Paul McCartney & Other Artists React

With the passing of George Michael on December 25 at the age of 53, another artist has fallen victim to the perceived cruelty of the year 2016. Michael wasn’t just any run-of-the-mill pop singer, however — he was a Grammy-winning titan of the 1980s and 1990s who sold 100 million records, and topped the Billboard Hot 100 no less than 10 times, between his stint with Wham! and as a solo artist. In fact, you likely heard his holiday staple, “Last Christmas,” at least a dozen times over the past month.

Below, a score of Michael’s fellow stars react to the singer’s too-soon death. Perhaps Andrew Ridgeley, the singer’s musical partner in Wham!, said it best: “Heartbroken at the loss of my beloved friend Yog. Me, his loved ones, his friends, the world of music, the world at large. 4ever loved.”

Farewell My Friend! 🙏🏻 Another Great Artist leaves us. 💔Can 2016 Fuck Off NOW?

A video posted by Madonna (@madonna) on

Faith. Freedom. rip. 🖕🏾2016.

A photo posted by Miguel (@miguel) on

i bought Listen Without Prejudice the day it came out, which happened to be my 15th birthday. even when i put it on now, hearing the opening chords of “praying for time”—the opening tune, i can picture the exact shade of yellow paint that covered my teenage bedroom. it all comes back to me in pure technicolour. that’s how much of a mark that song left on me. i had never heard a musical language quite like that before. later, when i discovered the 70’s masterworks of Stevie Wonder, i started to understand where George got it from. but at that point, to my naive musical knowledge, it blew the doors open. it prepared me for Stevie in a way. later on, as a DJ in hip-hop clubs in New York City in the late 90’s, George/Wham’s “Everything She Wants” was one of maybe three or four tunes by white artists that you could follow MJ, Frankie Beverly or Roy Ayers with. the keyboard lick from “Father Figure” comprised the bones for the Jungle Bros.’ classic, underground club destroyer “J Beez Comin’ Through”. So while “Faith” and the like made George a global phenom, another side of his genius as singer, writer, producer and arranger made him a bonafide giant of soul music. as did most soul afficionados, George had a huge affinity for the music of Amy Winehouse. i imagine he felt more than a little kindred spiritness to some of the personal stuff too. Anyway, as a result of my ties to Amy, he called me once. i was on holiday exactly around this time 9 years ago. he told me he had a few soulful tunes left off of Faith that he never got to finish and asked if i would be interested in working on them. i remember one of the songs was absolutely flooring, as good as any pop/soul ballad of the era. i said of course i would be interested—all the while in complete disbelief that i was actually on the phone with GEORGE MICHAEL. i don’t know why, for some reason it never materialized. i hope one day i might get to, but i really dreamed of being in the room with him while i did. this is a tough day in a brutal year. but i’m so grateful for what he left us xxx

A photo posted by Mark Ronson (@iammarkronson) on

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