Last year’s holiday season was tinged with sadness as several cultural icons died in a span of few days. Just days before Carrie Fisher and mother, Debbie Reynolds passed away consecutively, gay pop music icon George Michael died on Christmas day. 53 years old, Michael died of natural causes.
The days, weeks, and months following were filled with celebration of the musician’s life. Not only his timeless repertoire of hit music, but his fierce representation as a sex-positive queer man in the face of discrimination was fondly remembered after his passing.
It’s a year since George Michael died. On this day of family and unity and togetherness and giving and receiving, let’s remember his greatest contribution to the arts and his holiest of messages.https://t.co/OmDCtMqCf4
— Ryan John Butcher (@ryanjohnbutcher) December 25, 2017
This year, while we were all celebrating the holidays and listening to “Last Christmas” in all its original ‘80s Wham! glory, we were also literally remembering last Christmas and Michael’s unending legacy. On the one-year anniversary of his death, his family posted to his website with a beautiful tribute note:
“This year has been a series of new and tough challenges for those of us close and loyal to Yog, not least of which was steeling ourselves this month, to hear ‘Last Christmas’ and ‘December Song’ streaming out of shops, cars, and radios, as it has done for decades, knowing he’s no longer here with us, missing him.
This Christmas will be hard without him, but we know that we are not alone in our mourning the anniversary of his loss, and that the sadness of our wider family, and true friends, is shared by many of you
Yog, who loved Christmas, and always hoped it would snow would want each of you that admired and loved him, (yeshe knows you did!!) to take a moment, raise a glass, enjoy his music and think of him fondly, making sure to enjoy your time with, and appreciate your family and friends.”
1 year ago today, we lost one of the most exciting musicians on the planet, George Michael. He was also an active LGBT rights campaigner and HIV/AIDS charity fundraiser, and is still greatly missed. pic.twitter.com/n3k9Edc3cU
— Eric Alper (@ThatEricAlper) December 25, 2017
They also thanked his fans for listening to Listen Without Prejudice Vol. 1, making it number one on the UK albums chart. The album was re-released in October, as was a documentary about his life, entitled Freedom.