According to reports from multiple outlets, and confirmed by his publicist on Sunday, Dec. 25, famed British singer-songwriter George Michael died at his Oxfordshire home. According to the BBC, Michael ― who suffered a near-death health incident in 2011, being hospitalized with a severe case of pneumonia ― is said to have "passed away peacefully," albeit at a tragically young age. If you're one of Michael's countless fans, this is no doubt devastating news. Here are 7 of the best George Michael quotes from throughout his long career, although far shorter than anyone might have hoped.
Michael's 2011 bout with pneumonia made headlines, as it caused the cancellation of a slew of tour dates, and forced him into an intensive care unit to recover. Though it caused a scare among fans and surely among his loved ones, he ultimately rebounded from the illness. However, details surrounding his cause of death have yet to be released. According to a statement from his publicist, his family "would ask that their privacy be respected at this difficult and emotional time," and no further comment will be offered for the time being.
From his time in the iconic British pop duo Wham! through his decades-long solo career, here are seven quotes from the late pop legend.
1. On "Finding The Right Person"
Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, it was rumored and widely speculated that Michaels was gay. In 1992 he simply emphasized the importance of "finding the right person" as opposed to answering people's frivolous questions.
2. On Marijuana
Although Michael was entirely up-front about his use of marijuana in a 2006 TV program, he did not speak 100 percent positively about it. Or, rather, he didn't recommend it for people who weren't "in the right position to take it."
All the way back in 1987, in a interview with British TV presenter Jonathan Ross, Michael disputed the idea that there's any such thing as a "reluctant star," admitting that he sought the love of the public to make up for his own weaknesses.
5. On Feeling No Shame
In 1998, in an interview with CNN's Jim Moret, Michael publicly acknowledged for the first time that he was gay. And although he confessed to feeling "reckless and weak" for how his sexual orientation was exposed, he made it clear that he felt no shame about it.
Needless to say, Michael was a major figure in pop music history, and his death will cast a long shadow, joining iconic musicians like David Bowie and Prince who also passed away in 2016. Michael was just 53 years old.