(Daily Beast) -- George Michael told the story more than once: the moment when he was 8, tripping over at school, sliding along the floor and banging his head against a radiator. He bled badly, and took quite a knock. But from that moment on, his love was music.
For the next few days it will be the songs that will be played and lovingly remembered—rightly so, because Michael’s and Wham!’s songs not only gave pleasure to so many, they stood for something: sexual pleasure, letting go, getting down, getting political, and also having ridiculous amounts of fun. The songs were ‘pop’ as pop should be—they made your heart full to bursting, and they knew how to revel in the drama of heartbreak and loss.
They could sound ridiculous, yet you know every word and drink in every rich, overblown melody.
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As part of Wham!, and later by himself, these songs were lush or loud, stomping or caressing. You could fast-dance to them, or place your head on a loved one’s shoulder—and they were classics, and remain so and transcend time, as we know because George Michael died today on Christmas Day, the day when one of Wham!’s most famous songs—“Last Christmas”—plays seemingly everywhere on a loop.