Yesterday, 2016 claimed another musical great when George Michael was declared dead, aged just 53. Here we sum up nine reasons why we’ll always keep the Faith.
1. Because ‘guilty feet have got no rhythm’ is possibly one of the best lines in a pop song. Ever.
2. He defined our holiday seasons. No package holiday to Spain is complete without the resort DJ spinning Club Tropicana and Christmas just isn’t Christmas without seeing a brooding George pining over an ex and her big bouffant in Last Christmas.
3. The singer was never afraid to laugh at himself. Following his arrest after a well-documented incident in a public toilet, he released single Outside, complete with a video featuring glitter ball urinals. And, long before it became the in thing amongst celebrities, George took part in the very first carpool karaoke with James Cordon back in 2011 for a Comic Relief sketch - in matching shell suits.
4. That hair. Those aviator glasses. The stonewash denim and leather jacket. No one rocked a late ‘80s look like George.
5. For making the mantra ‘Choose Life’ a thing with his ‘80s slogan t-shirts.
6. He had an opinion and wasn’t afraid to express it. Never one to shy away from politics, in his Wham! days George played a Miners’ Benefit Concert during the height of the strike. Later on in his career, George launched a blistering attack on the US’s policy in the Middle East with 2002’s Shoot the Dog, the video of which showed Tony Blair as a poodle being cosseted by George Bush.
7. For being a thoroughly nice bloke. Scores of charities have paid tribute to him following his death for his private donations. Childline founder Esther Rantzen said Michael gave royalties from his 1996 hit Jesus To A Child to the charity along with many other donations. Jane Barron from the Terrence Higgins Trust said Michael made many donations and gifts, including the royalties of his Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me duet with Elton John in 1991.
8. He wrote blooming catchy songs. When Wake Me Up Before You Go Go, Freedom, Faith and Careless Whisper come on the radio you can’t help but sing-a-long, as much as you may not want to. His lyrics had a way of reeling you in with sentimentality, without the schmaltz.
9. The duets. Queen, Aretha Franklin, Elton John - George was a genius at the power duet.