George Michael Kept This Secret Until The Day He Died. Now It’s Out, And It’s Incredibly Moving

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Image: Express Newspapers/Stringer/Getty Images
Image: Express Newspapers/Getty Images

And that, it turns out, was a pretty good move all round. In fact, thanks to bouncy, catchy pop songs like “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go,” Wham! became a chart-topping act on both sides of the Atlantic. But even this seemingly wasn’t enough for Michael. As a result, in 1984 he debuted his first solo single. Needless to say, “Careless Whisper” was a big hit.

Image: Hulton Archive/Stringer/Getty Images
Image: Hulton Archive/Getty Images

It was around this time, moreover, that Michael showed an interest in charitable causes. For example, in reaction to Britain’s then hard-right Conservative government, Wham! played a benefit concert for striking coal miners in 1984. In addition, Michael contributed to Band Aid’s iconic charity single “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” as well as the subsequent Live Aid concert.

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Image: Hulton Archive/Stringer/Getty Images
Image: Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Michael’s activism didn’t spawn a change of career, though: music remained very much his first love. And his popularity as a singer endured even after Wham!’s split. Indeed, the star’s stint as a solo artist saw success thanks to edgier hits like “Faith” and “I Want Your Sex.” Those tracks weren’t beloved by everyone, though. The latter’s controversial subject matter, for example, saw it banned from some U.S. radio stations.

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