Stars tell of sadness and shock at death of Michael
Scots including Lulu, Nicola Sturgeon and Annie Lennox pay tributes after singer succumbs to heart failure
ANNIE LENNOX, Lulu and Midge Ure have paid tribute to pop star George Michael as the music world was left numb with shock following the singer’s death on Christmas Day at the age of 53.
The music legend died from a suspected heart failure at home in Oxfordshire. It is being treated by police as “unexplained but not suspicious”.
Michael, who rose to fame as the front man of Wham! and had chart-topping hits including Last Christmas, died peacefully at his home, his publicist said.
The star – whose real name was Georgios Kyriacos Panayiotou – died at his home in Goring-onThames.
His publicist, Cindi Berger, said he had not been ill.
Michael’s manager, Michael Lippman, said the singer, who achieved global fame as a solo artist with hits such as Faith and Careless Whisper, died of heart failure “in bed, lying peacefully”.
Lennox, the Scots half of the Eurythmics, who performed at the 1992 Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert at Wembley, said she was “very sad and shocked” to hear of the news of Michael’s death.
Stars from Scotland joined the world in paying tribute to the pop superstar and gay rights champion,
Lennox, who presented a Song of the Year Grammy with Michael to Bruce Springsteen in 1995 while wearing Mickey Mouse ears, added: “He meant such a lot to the millions of people who loved and appreciated his music everywhere around the world.”
Singer Lulu said: “Soooo sad another brilliant artist gone... a sweet, sensitive and soulful man.”
Ultravox singer Ure who helped organise the Band Aid charity supergroup that performed Do They Know It’s Christmas? and the follow-on 1985 Live Aid concert for Ethiopia of which Michael was an integral part, was equally stunned.
He said on social media: “Ex-Wham singer George Michael dies. This is just too much now!”
Singer Eddi Reader, formerly with Fairground Attraction, referred to the curse of 2016, which has seen so many stars of the world of entertainment die, said: “WHAT!!!??? George ???? Nooo
‘‘ This is just too awful. Such an amazing talent gone too soon. Wham! was part of soundtrack to my teenage years
what on earth is going on? Shocking. I’m painting crosses on my door.”
Singer KT Tunstall used more colourful language to articulate her shock, before adding: “So sad, what a genius legend. I grew up with him and loved his music so much.”
Norman Blake, of indie rock band Teenage Fanclub, simply said: “Oh no.” He later posted Michael’s hit Faith on Twitter adding: “What a great tune”.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said she had listened to Best Of George Michael, which she described as a “masterpiece” after hearing the news. “This is just too awful. Such an amazing talent gone too soon. Wham! was part of the soundtrack to my teenage years,” she said.
Outside Michael’s home in Oxfordshire, fans gathered to lay flowers and candles in his honour.
Singers shared their condolences and memories of him.
“Farewell My Friend! Another Great Artist leaves us,” tweeted Madonna.
Paul McCartney wrote on his website: “Having worked with him on a number of occasions his great talent always shone through and his self-deprecating sense of humour made the experience even more pleasurable.”
Michael’s former Wham! bandmate Andrew Ridgeley, said on Twitter he was “heartbroken at the loss of my beloved friend”.
Sir Elton John added: “I have lost a beloved friend – the kindest, most generous soul and a brilliant artist.”
LGBT charity Stonewall tweeted its sadness at the news of his death, writing: “R.I.P. George Michael. You inspired many and your music will live on.”