On Christmas Day, the 1980s pop icon George Michael was found dead inside his home in Oxfordshire, England.
The news was shocking, not just because the Grammy Award-winning artist was 53, but also because of the enormous impact he had on artists of his era and his lasting influence on some of today’s biggest pop stars.
Through his publicist, Michael’s family issued a brief statement requesting privacy following his death. Others, however, shared stories that attested to his character and a career that resulted in the sale of over 100 million records — as well as numerous controversies.
“Devastating,” tweeted fellow 1980s pop star Boy George. “What a beautiful voice he had and his music will live on as a testament to his talent. I can’t believe he is gone.”