Before the conference season tips off, more tragic news in the world of pop rock music.
The year 2016 saw many famous musicians leave the world way too soon. Starting with David Bowie and continuing with Prince, Glenn Frey, Leonard Cohen, and a sad capper to the year happened on Christmas Night as the frontman from the mega popular mid 1980’s United Kingdom group Wham!–George Michael died peacefully at his London home at the tender age of 53:
Many music stars past and present immediately took to Twitter and Instagram to offer their sympathies and memories:
George Michael was a huge part of the soundtrack of my youth
The first time I heard him sing was their Top 40 hit “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go” (which is the opening track on their Make It Big! album, released in 1984), I was having tacos and rice with my family while eating inside a small Mexican restaurant. Almost a third of the way through the song, that catchy dance beat immediately caught my imagination. Soon thereafter, MTV would ride the wave and play the video along with their other big hit “Freedom” and later on his contribution to the holiday soundtrack with “Last Christmas (I Gave You My Heart).”
Here are the two mega-hits that made Michael and school friend Andrew Ridgeley famous worldwide between 1984 and 1986, leading off with a performance on the BBC’s Top of the Pops (similar to what ABC did American Bandstand for over 33 years):
“Freedom” (fast forward to begin the song at around the 1:13 mark):
Rest In Peace, George.
The best way to close it out is from their final album in 1986 here is “I’m Your Man” (fast forward to around the 1:16 mark to begin the song):