The timing of the unexpected death of singer George Michael at age 53 is such that it closely precedes what will be a season of awards shows at the beginning on 2017. As such, it's only natural to wonder whether a tribute to Michael will happen at the Grammys considering the singer leaves behind a prolific career and enduring musical legacy. The Grammys will happen on Sunday, Feb. 12, 2017 and, as is traditional in awards shows, may feature either a video montage or special tribute segment to the musicians and singers who passed away the previous year. Michael, unfortunately, qualifies for a tribute segment; I definitely think that this tribute should happen if only because Michael's important position in music history should be honored.
Michael's music has become ubiquitous in pop culture, be it the saxophone intro in "Careless Whisper," the irresistibly catchy "Faith," or the effervescence of "Wake Me Up (Before You Go-Go)." It would be impossible to overlook Michael and his music considering he has left such an indelible mark on the face on modern pop music.
That said, I would like to propose a list of celebrities, directly connected and spiritually similar, that would make the perfect group to pay tribute to this truly talented singer.
1. Elton John
Elton John has been a longtime friend of Michael's. The two have been friends for years and even collaborated together on "Don't Let The Sun Go Down On Me." John took to Twitter to pay tribute to Michael; a Grammy's tribute would be another great opportunity to give a touching farewell.
Madonna is another longtime friend of Michael's. Both share '80s personas that are spiked with cheekiness, freedom of sexual expression, and pure happiness. Madonna would surely knock a tribute right out of the park.
3. Lady Gaga
While Lady Gaga has no clear connection to Michael, it is hard to ignore that the two have shared very similar outlooks on the world. Both Michael and Gaga have used their celebrity to support gay rights and call for peace and a world without prejudice. Additionally, it is not the least bit difficult to imagine Lady Gaga absolutely doing the music of Michael justice.
4. Adam Lambert
Lambert appeared on ABC's Greatest Hits over the summer to perform Michael's classic 1990 hit, "Faith." Lambert's voice is a powerful reminder of Michael's and his showmanship would be right at home in paying tribute to the late singer.
5. Andrew Ridgeley
No tribute to Michael would be complete without an appearance from Michael's Wham! bandmate, Andrew Ridgeley. Michael's story began with Ridgeley and it is only fitting that it should end with Ridgeley, too.
Adele is a Grammy Awards-darling; calling upon her pipes and power for a tribute at the awards show would make perfect sense. A song like "Careless Whisper" would be perfect for the singer who has made a career crooning songs about the depths of heartbreak.
Sia would be a surprising inclusion because, to the public's knowledge, her path has never crossed with Michael's. However, Sia is able to bring out the poignant aspects of the human experience, much like Michael's song in his later solo career (see the album Listen Without Prejudice, Vol. 1). Sia would absolutely break hearts but make sure to do Michael justice.
8. Boy George, Sting, and Bono
The trio of singers appeared with George Michael (among numerous others) on "Do They Know It's Christmas?" The song was written by Bob Geldof and sung as part of 1984's Band Aid charity drive for famine relief in Ethiopia. These three singers are living '80s icons and would be a touching surprise on the Grammy stage.
9. Stevie Wonder
Wonder is a timeless singer. He was present at the tribute to Prince and would be another great choice for an intended tribute to Michael. Why? Wonder knows how to make classic songs feel new again and he knows how to bring joy during even the saddest of times.