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George Michael Cause of Death: How Did the Singer Die?

George Michael Dead, George Michael cause of death, George Michael dead

(Getty)

George Michael, the former Wham! frontman who had a successful solo career with hits like “Faith” and “Careless Whisper,” died at age 53 on December 25 from heart disease.

On March 7, Darren Salter, senior coroner for Oxfordshire, determined that Michael died of “dilated cardiomyopathy with myocarditis and fatty liver,” according to the Associated Press. This is a condition that limits the heart’s ability to pump blood and myocarditis is heart muscle inflammation. Salter also said that Michael’s death was natural, so there will be no further investigation.

His manager, Michael Lippman, first said on December 25 that Michael died of heart failure in a statement to the Hollywood Reporter. Michael “passed away peacefully at home,” his publicist told the BBC.

“I’m devastated,” Lippman told The Hollywood Reporter, adding that the singer was found Christmas morning. Michael was discovered lying in bed “peacefully.” He said Michael’s death was unexpected.

Despite Lippman’s comments, police told the Associated Press that the initial autopsy tests were “inconclusive” and the results of more tests won’t be known for several weeks.

Police said there were no suspicious circumstances surrounding Michael’s death. Thames Valley Police confirmed an ambulance arrived at his home in Goring, Oxfordshire at 13:42 GMT. While police only said that he died peacefully, Michael faced health scares, including a battle with pneumonia in 2011.

Fadi Fawaz, who was Michael’s last boyfriend, claims on Twitter that he found Michael dead in his bed. “ITs a xmas i will never forget finding your partner dead peacefully in bed first thing in the morning.. I will never stop missing you xx,” Fawaz wrote.

Fawaz later told The Telegraph that he went to Michael’s home, with plans to go to lunch. When he went into Michael’s bedroom, he found the singer lying in his bed.

“Everything had been very complicated recently, but George was looking forward to Christmas, and so was I,” Fawaz told the Telegraph. “Now everything is ruined. I want people to remember him the way he was – he was a beautiful person.”

Police later told The Hollywood Reporter that Michael’s death was “unexplained but not suspicious.”

“It is with great sadness that we can confirm our beloved son, brother and friend George passed away peacefully at home over the Christmas period,” a statement from Michael’s publicist to the BBC read. “The family would ask that their privacy be respected at this difficult and emotional time. There will be no further comment at this stage.”

Here’s a look at Michael’s life and recent health problems.


1. Michael Faced Health Scares in Recent Years

George Michael Dead, George Michael cause of death, George Michael dead

George Michael in 2010. (Getty)

There has been concern over Michael’s health in recent years. Back in 2011, Michael’s publicist said that he was suffering from pneumonia and had to cancel his Symphonica European tour after feeling chest pains while in Vienna. This sparked rumors that he might have had HIV, although this was not confirmed. According to the BBC, doctors reportedly performed a tracheotomy at the time and he was unconscious for a time in the hospital.

“It almost killed me,” he said of the illness in a 2014 interview with the Daily Mail. “On a subconscious level, it was very frightening and I’ll probably never feel quite as safe in life again.”

Michael was able to perform at the 2012 London Olympics closing ceremony. In 2014, close friends told The Mirror that he had “gone off the radar” and he looked unrecognizable when the paparazzi spotted him. He continued to “shut himself off from the world,” friends told the Mail.

In September 2012, Michael performed the delayed Vienna show and donated 1,000 tickets to staffers at the hospital where he was treated. He paid tribute to the staff, saying, “This is one of the greatest honours of my life, to sing to the men and women who saved my life.”

In July 2015, the U.K. Express reported that he was undergoing treatment for a cannabis addiction and was at a rehab facility in Zurich.

“To my lovelies and fans around the world, thank you for all the birthday wishes, I am truly overwhelmed. I am looking forward to spending it with friends and family. Thanks again, love The Singing Greek,” Michael wrote on social media at the time.

On December 26, TMZ published photos of Michael taken in September, showing thath e had gained weight in recent months.

A source told the Telegraph that Michael was struggling with a heroin addiction. “He’s been rushed to A&E on several occasions. He used heroin. I think it’s amazing he’s lasted as long as he has,” the anonymous source told the Telegraph.

One of Michael’s two godsons, James Kennedy Georgiou, told The Sun that he knew Michael was sick.

“I know he was sick for a while. I was crying all night when I heard the news. He is a legend and he touched everyone with his music. I love him and I’ll always love him,” Georgiou, the son of Michael’s cousin Andros, told The Sun. “He was a massive inspiration – the way he moved, the way he dressed, the way he danced, wrote. Just everything about George was incredible.”

Michael’s cousin, Andros Georgiou, told the Independent in January that Michael was back to using “hard drugs.”

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2. Michael Was Planning on Releasing a New Album in 2017

It had appeared that Michael was planning a comeback, since he announced in November that he was finishing Freedom, a documentary that would air in March 2017. He also planned a reissue of Listen Without Prejudice (1990) to coincide with the documentary.

On December 13, The BBC reported that Naughty Boy was producing new songs by Michael for a new album. The producer also said that Michael would appear on a new album he was working on.

“I can’t wait. I don’t know what to expect. And, to be honest, he’s more mysterious than anyone else so I’m actually excited,” Naughty Boy, whose real name is Shahid Khan, told the BBC.

During Michael’s Symphonica tour, he donated a performance to The Elton John AIDS Foundation, raising over £1 million. Michael also performed on the famous Band Aid single and performed at Live Aid and World Aids Day.

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3. Michael Was One-Half of Wham! & Sold Over 115 Million Records

George Michael Dead, George Michael cause of death, George Michael dead

George Michael in 2010. (Getty)

Michael was born in East Finchley, London to a Greek father, Kyriacos Panayiotou, and a British mother, Lesley Angold. His mother died in 1997. Michael grew up in the Kingsbury, London.

He was not married and did not have any children. However, he did have two godsons: Kennedy, who appears on the reality show Vanderpump Rules, and Harry Georgiou.

Michael, whose real name was Georgios Kyriacos Panayiotou, was a member of the iconic 1980s group Wham! with Andrew Ridgeley. He sold over 115 million albums during his four-decade career. Celebrity Net Worth estimates that he had an estimated net worth of $200 million.

According to a 2004 GQ profile, Michael admitted to Ridgeley that he was bisexual when he was 19. Ridgeley and Michael had known each other since they were teens and attended the same school. Ridgedly wrote on Twitter that he was “heartbroken at the loss of my beloved friend.”

In 1981, he and Ridgeley formed Wham!, which found almost instant success. Fantastic, their first album, was a massive hit in the U.K., while their second album, Make It Big, hit No. 1 on the U.S. charts. They became such an international success that they performed in China in 1985, making them the first Western group to play inside China, according to a 2015 BBC retrospective.

Wham! released just three albums together, ending their run with 1986’s Music from the Edge of Heaven.

In 1987, Michael decided to go solo and released the smash hit Faith, which featured the smash hit title track. Other hits from the record included “I Want Your Sex,” “Father Figure” and “One More Try.” Listen Without Prejudice Vol. 1 followed in 1990, with the smash hits “Praying For Time,” “Waiting for That Day” and “Heal the Pain.” Although Michael’s output slowed during the 1990s, he continued performing and recording. In 2014, he released Symphonica, his last album, which contains live material from the 2011-2012 world tour of the same name.

Michael also had hits with duets, including “I Knew You Were Waiting For Me” with Aretha Franklin and “Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me” with Elton John.

“I am in deep shock. I have lost a beloved friend – the kindest, most generous soul and a brilliant artist. My heart goes out to his family, friends and all of his fans,” John wrote on Instagram, including a photo of himself with his fellow British singer.

Texan art dealer Kenny Goss, who had a 13-year relationship with Michael before they split in 2011, told the Daily Mail that he was “heartbroken” over Michael’s death. “He was a major part of my life and I loved him very, very much,” Goss said.

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4. Michael Suffered Scars in a 2013 Car Accident

Michael faced several legal issues in the past 10 years. In 2006, he pleaded guilty to driving under the influence of drugs and in 2008, he was arrested for possession of drugs.

In 2010, Michael spent eight weeks in jail after a second conviction for driving while under the influence of drugs. When he was sentenced, the judge told him that an addiction to marijuana made him a risk to the public, CBS News reported at the time. Police said that the singer appeared “spaced out” when they arrested him in the early morning hours of July 4, 2010.

In 2013, he was in a car accident, where he fell out of his Range Rover while it was traveling 70mph on a British highway. He suffered scars on the back of his head.

“That was just a very, very unlucky accident. But I’ve put it behind me, thank goodness. I’ve purposely decided not to dwell on what happened last year,” Michael said in a 2014 interview with The Daily Mail.

“As an artist, at this stage of my career, I’m just not interested in repeating past successes or worrying about chart positions,” Michael told the Daily Mail in 2014, as he was promoting Symphonica. “So it seemed like the perfect time to explore a project like this.”

Gary Farrow, who handled Michael’s publicity for over 30 years, told the Sun that he believed Michael’s access to drug was his downfall.

“I believe easy access to drugs was the cause of his problems,” Farrow said. “I thought George was too bright to get involved with illegal substances. But once this disease gets hold of you it’s hard to fight it.”

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5. Michael Said Keeping his Homosexuality a Secret Made Him Feel ‘Fraudulent’

As The Los Angeles Times reported in 1998, Michael was arrested that year for allegedly engaging in a “lewd act” by himself in a public restroom. Police said that the singer was arrested by a plainclothes officer who “observed Mr. Michael engaged in a lewd act.” He pleaded no contest, was fined $810 and was sentenced to 80 hours of community service. The incident “outed” Michael, who had tried to keep his sexuality a secret from the public. Just days after the incident, he came out on CNN.

“I want to say that I have no problem with people knowing that I’m in a relationship with a man right now. I have not been in a relationship with a woman for almost 10 years,” he told CNN in April 1998.

In a 1998 interview with MTV after the incident, Michael said he didn’t feel like the arrest “outed” him though, because he thought he was already “out.”

“The main point is that I outed myself in my life about eight or nine years ago and I’ve been out with everyone in my life — even casual acquaintances, my family, friends — anyone who’s met me within that time has known that I’m gay, just not the press,” he told MTV at the time.

“It was what it was. Although it obviously wasn’t planned that way, I just didn’t happen to come out openly until after my mother died,” Michael said of the incident in a 2014 Daily Mail interview. “In a way, though, it was for the best because I’m pretty sure the papers would have attacked me, and I think that would have hurt her.”

In a 2007 interview with the BBC’s Desert Island Discs, Michael said that hiding his sexuality made him feel “fraudulent.” Michael said that he was worried that his mother would fear he had AIDS.

“What people have to acknowledge… is that there’s a level of honesty that’s natural to me [and] that I’m uncomfortable with anything else,” Michael told Desert Island Discs in 2007. “So firstly, understand how much I love my family and that Aids was the predominant feature of being gay in the 1980s and early 90s as far as any parent was concerned… My mother was still alive and every single day would have been a nightmare for her thinking what I might have been subjected to.”

Michael continued in that 2007 interview, “I’d been out to a lot of people since 19. I wish to God it had happened then. I don’t think I would have the same career – my ego might not have been satisfied in some areas – but I think I would have been a happier man.”

In 2007, The Daily Mail reported that Michael was going to appear in a BBC2 documentary about AIDS, in which he reportedly told Stephen Fry that he was too scared to take an AIDS test. Michael, whose former partner Anselmo Feleppa died of an AIDS-related disease in 1995, requested that he be removed from the documentary. “On reflection, he felt it was too close and too personal a journey,” Michael’s spokesman told the Mail at the time. “It was too personal for Anselmo’s family to revisit.”

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96 comments

  1. Mine and my family’s condolences to george”s family.
    Lots of love,may he rest in peace
    Thank you George for wonderful music you shared with the world
    GOD BLESS,your big fan

    • You don’t need a cause of death to confirm that he has died. The fact is he has died. Cause will come at a later time. idiot

    • you are joking right anonymous? official cause of death is completely different to confirmation of his death…by his publicist and family, reasonably reliable sources one would think….you are a numbnuts.

      • I was never a celebrity. But if I would have been, I’d probably be dead by now. (currently in my early 60’s) A lower class income level with a family to raise always kept me “in check”.
        You simply can’t afford the excesses and certainly not the time to indulge . But Celebrity status and wealth and attention have little to do with the root cause of addictions and dangerous behavior. Some folks are just more “addiction prone”. Some addictions aren’t as life threatening, so that becomes a personal benefit. But if I could have been the proverbial Rock Star, I am sure that the access to bad things would have taken me out by now. How people like Robert Plant, Jimmy Page, The Rolling Stones, Paul McCartney and the rest manage to go into the Golden years unscathed is a true miracle. Or, really good genetics. But most of it I believe is the many untold stories of “addictive prone personalities”.
        Addictive to all the obvious drugs. Carrie Fisher is dying proof of this type. Though at least she made it to 60. RIP to all of them. I would have been with them all by now, given the status. :-|

    • Wake up to yourself…
      The autopsy results take a couple of day & toxicology 6 week. No cause of death before then Keyboard Warrior. Just a selfish little pratt who has never lost anyone.
      Have a nice life on you Playstation.

  2. It’s sad that he died so young and towards the last few years of his life he had just let go of himself. Gay life is tough, if you come from a humble background and make it big that makes it tougher. Rich and successful people can be quite lonely, because even if everyone wants them there is that constant question in their minds whether someone likes them for who they are or for the money. It is not easy having true friends as a wealthy successful person and for a celebrity it must be ten times tougher……finding a genuine loving partner is the toughest part. It seems George died of loneliness more than any disease or drug related problems. As a rich person unless you spend money on others you cant even have genuine friends, its really very tough…and the minute u stop spending on others , they all disappear…i feel sorry for him and many others like him who died young because they all had the same issues coping with life.

    • How the Hell do you know what happened? You don’t know this about him so why speculate? If you are a lonely rich asshole,and can’t pick who is a genuine friend,or a user go take a class.I am a rich,person who can tell who is a friend,and who is a user.I am also openly gay,and George’s age so save your stupid advice for someone who gives a shit,you know nothing.

      • EU 2017 is speaking about something that you see over and over and over… from Marylin to Elvis and more recently Winehouse, Kobain, Seymore… the list goes on and on. The fact that you were a big fan doesn’t substract to the fact that stars al always at risk of emptyness, drugs, depression, suicide etc.

      • That’s why I prefer the company of Cats. Neutered/spayed cats. With Humans, it’s never ever about friendship. Poor or wealthy. Being “Lonely” is a personality disorder. If you can’t spend time alone for days with nothing but your own mind and the constant mysteries of the Universe constantly bombarding our “wave-ways”, then you are one troubled bag of carbon and water. Meanwhile, his Godson gets a free plug for that goofy tv show run by Boris and Natasha, your hosts. That junk lives forever!!!! LOL!!!

    • Why do you allow dicks up your ass then, since gay life is “tough”? Just walk away! An ass eats grass or is made for dropping a turd, nothing else

      • Why would it stigmatize him to have died of AIDS ? More likely it would be an honored way to let people know that safe sex is still a lifesaver and inspired many more to help themselves be aware and safe. The whole bit about cannabis addiction is a hypocritical red herring! This is not 1995 a young gays need to here truth and not befuddlement by paranoid and cowardly celebrities and their families.Raiden’s message is coarse but on the money. If you didn’t know simply from watching one of his videos that he was flamboyant, I hope you’ve since had laser surgery. He was produced using Marijuana for relief of his debilitating symptoms. Wake Up! Lies and nonsense only besmirch his legacy.

      • You are a complete arsehole !!!
        People are born gay and straight people have anal sex .
        So people walk away from their sexuality their feelings and love .
        It’s not a choice being GAY !
        They were born like that !
        People like you make my blood boil !!!!

  3. Everyone knows he’s gay, Everyone figures he died of AIDS. So why do we fail to mention this like there was some shame in it?
    A dead man at such a young age is to be pitied, and his family should be empathized with. This has to be desvastating to those who were close to him. Show some respect and keep your preaching for a more appropriate time.

  4. So Sad on Christmas.Again,another Gret singer taken as We go into a New YEAR. His Private life will be the only focus now,But his voice and music is what will be remembered and is what will live on.R.I.P. George.

  5. Being human and compassionate is lacking in some morons who point the AIDS finger, we are born we die from what of is irrelevant.

  6. So very sad, I really loved this artist. Didn’t matter if he was bi or gay or purple with spots…he was a talented man who will be missed. Forever.

  7. New World Order does not like when a new album of a superstar is being prepared and is likely to diminish rihana, lady gaga and all other clowns that are shoved down our throats….Maybe dead , maybe gone..

  8. Repeat after me… Cannabis has no addictive properties.

    Now say it until you get it. Research if you think I’m full of it. I promise you, I’m not. At least not today. ;)

    • You are a wise woman your words are true from god I will carry them with me I needed to hear that thank you and god keep you and everyone

  9. I can’t believe this has happened,in deep shock,love you george you legacy will live on through your wonderful music,you will never be forgotten Diane xx

  10. Official cause of death would be heart arrest, but we know the heart stopping is often the cause of death of AIDS patient in the terminal stage of the virus. This just goes to show that full blown AIDS can be suppress for awhile, but they turn into Super AIDS which have resistance to all drugs, which is why it is incurable.

    • Could Donald Trump’s victory have exacerbated his demise? We know part of the reason that speed up an AIDS patient demise is depression and the will to live, a happy AIDS patient with loving family and friends for support could live years longer than one who is lonely and depressed, perhaps Trump’s victory made him say I lost my will to live, and the body naturally stops fighting and shut down. Either ways I will remember George Michael’s Last Christmas playing for Christmas, when he was at his best, by the time of I want your anal sex, his career was heading into a plateau but going off a cliff.

  11. If it wasn’t aids, they would have given the cause of his death. ‘Heart failure’ doesn’t just come on out of the blue. It has a cause and has been treatable for many decades. The last resort is a heart transplant. I don’t think Donald Trump’s victory killed George Michael.

  12. Regardless of anyone’s sexuality, We have lost a great talent, His SEXUALITY has NOTHING TO DO WITH IT.
    And to read all the dribble below of how George has died is just BS.
    That will be determined by the coroner, and NOT by the general public.
    RIP George

  13. George Nichael has sadly passed away from malnutrition, caused by his cocaine addiction, weighing no more than 50.8kg at death. {official hospital transcript}

    • Opinions from unintelligent people are not important right now. What is important is letting George Michael rest in peace, and be remembered for
      the true talented musician that he was

  14. I really sorry for George Michael s death but at least he can have fun in heaven and all the people can hear his music because they probly heard his songs before and like them so the can hear them again

  15. I like that he lived his life without fear of what people will say about him so George Micheal your work and spirit will live on one time yeah its me Yondela Randoyi aka lakisha one time at ya

  16. Why are they hiding the fact that he had hiv or aids ? Too embarrassed i guess, for a man with good looks and millions yet loved picking up random guys to screw them in the ass or get screwed. Yeh, very cool, he got what he deserved.

  17. My heart is broken with the passing of George Michael. I grew up with his music and followed his career. RIP George finally you are at peace. Always love. ❤❤❤❤❤

  18. Its been nearly 5 weeks since we lost the legend GM.we read things about him and we can make our own minds what happened to him,he has passed.nobody can bring him back.if he really wanted tried to commit suicide.e cud v jumped off a cliff into the sea.etc.why dont the police have fadi to take a lie detector test.lets get him buried and laid to rest in peace.godbless u George x