The 1980s pop icon George Michael, who died of heart failure at the age of 53, left behind a partner – and that partner found his body.
Did George Michael leave behind a family? Did he have children or a husband? Michael was not married when he died, and he did not have any children. However, he was dating Fadi Fawaz, who tweeted that he found Michael’s body.
“At this stage the death is being treated as unexplained but not suspicious,” police said of the death, although Michael’s publicist said Michael dead of heart failure peacefully at home. Police “were called to a property in Goring-on-Thames shortly before 2 p.m. on Sunday and confirmed the death of a 53-year-old man at the scene,” said CNN.
That person was Michael.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. George Michael Had Several Recent Lengthy Relationships
George Michael was not married when he died, and he had many relationships. He was most recently spotted in 2015 walking in Switzerland with Fadi Fawaz, a man identified as his boyfriend at the time.
They were photographed holding hands and, around the same time, Michael denied he was addicted to crack cocaine. In addition to tweeting that he found the body and identifying himself as Michael’s partner, Fawaz changed his Twitter profile picture to one of himself with Michael.
Michael had other serious relationships; one of his most significant was with the Texas-born businessman Kenny Goss. In 2011, “Michael announced onstage that his relationship with his long-term partner, Kenny Goss, had ended,” said USA Today. Their relationship lasted 13 years. The Sun reported that Michael and Goss were in contact again recently and that Michael had spiraled downward after the break up. Before they split, Michael and Goss, an art dealer, were considering getting married in a civil partnership ceremony.
Michael revealed he was gay in a 1998 CNN interview, saying, “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.”
In his early years, Michael did have relationships with women, including a makeup artist.
In 1998, Michael was arrested in Los Angeles “for soliciting sex in a public toilet.”
2. Michael Was Born to a Greek Immigrant & English Dancer
According to Biography.com, George Michael “was born Georgios Kyriacos Panayiotou on June 25, 1963, in East Finchley, London, England.”
His father was a Greek immigrant, and his mother was an English dancer. In 2011, when he was stricken with pneumonia, members of Michael’s family held a bedside vigil.
The Telegraph wrote, “He had been joined by his 75-year-old father Kyriacos Panayiotou, who is known as Jack Panos, as well as sisters Melanie, 49 and Yioda, 53.” Goss and Fawaz were at his side, said the Telegraph. Michael’s mother died in 1997.
Growing up, Michael had conflict with his father, which he said he channeled into his career.
Michael’s family called him “Yog,” which is a nickname derived from his Greek name.
Michael referenced his mother when he discussed the difficulties in coming out to People Magazine, saying, “Because it’s about family. In the years when HIV was a killer, any parent of an openly gay person was terrified. I knew my mother well enough that she would spend everyday praying that I didn’t come across that virus. She’d have worried like that.”
3. Michael’s Boyfriend Died of AIDS
The Sun says Michael’s childhood friend Andros Georgiou “was one of the first to be told he was gay” and “watched as George, who he calls Yog, fell for Brazilian Anselmo Feleppa.”
The Sun ran a serial in which Georgiou described how Michael told him Feleppa had AIDs before Feleppa died, “Yog looked at me, breaking down, crying hysterically. I jumped up and hugged him. He told me: ‘Anselmo has got Aids.’ He didn’t know what to do. How could the love of his life just die?”
He said that Michael told him that he did not have AIDs, however. George Michael wrote a tribute to Feleppa called “Jesus to a Child.” Many believe that Feleppa was George Michael’s greatest love.
The death of Feleppa and his mother plunged Michael into a depression. He told the Independent, “I struggled with huge depression after my mother died. Losing your mother and your lover in the space of three years is a tough one.”
4. George Michael Did Not Have Children
Although George Michael did not have children, he did have a godson named James Kennedy. Kennedy’s father and George’s father grew up together in the same village in Greece.
You can read more about Kennedy here:
5. Michael’s Family Has Asked for Privacy
According to the Mirror, Michael’s publicist Michael Lippman, released a statement on behalf of Michael’s family that read: “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.”
The statement continued: “The family would ask that their privacy be respected at this difficult and emotional time. There will be no further comment at this stage.” According to the Mirror, Michael was found “in bed, lying peacefully,” dead from heart failure.