George Michael & Princess Diana

2016 was a rough year for celebrity deaths, we lost so many greats.  The one that hit me the hardest was George Michael whom I have loved since I was a little girl.  I credit his sexiness for not only for kicking off an early puberty but for endowing me with a large rack.  All those lustful pre-teen hormones had to go somewhere and for me they settled in my chest (regretfully some of it also made its way to my ass).

I was a devoted fan throughout his career, from Wham!, through his aviator sunglasses days and beyond.  As I noted in Crushes, the “Faith” video still does it for me in a major way.  Despite all of George Michael’s struggles throughout his life, or perhaps because of them, he always felt like a kindred spirit: blessed but broken.

He described what propelled him in various interviews as: “It’s not the something extra that makes a star. It’s the something missing.”  Art in its various forms isn’t a choice, it’s a compulsion, a need to create something that will provide a fleeting sense of wholeness.

George Michael was so underrated as a vocalist.  His live 1992 cover of Queen’s “Somebody to Love” was a worthy tribute to Freddie Mercury who had a four octave range and exceptional control in his head and chest voice, very few singers can do his songs justice.  My favorite non-vocal part of this cover occurs between 3:50-4:00, the Wembley Stadium audience thunderously belts out “love”, Queen’s lead guitarist Brian May chuckles and George does a victorious twirl.

The year after the Freddie Mercury tribute concert, Princess Diana finally met George Michael at a World Aids Day concert.  Diana was a big fan of George Michael’s and after George declined a few opportunities to meet her, when they finally were introduced, they became fast friends.  Diana’s former chef, Darren McGrady, revealed some details about their relationship in a Daily Mail piece.

George spent a lot of time with Diana and helped her through her separation with Prince Charles, she would also ring him up and they would chat.  A tape of one such conversation exists in the safety deposit box of Andros Georgiou, one of George’s friends.  The back story and some other interesting anecdotes about Princess Diana and George Michael can be read in this piece.

George regretted not speaking with Diana in the two years before her death, life just got in the way and he always assumed she must have so many callers, he didn’t want to be an intrusion.  After Princess Diana’s death, George didn’t have much contact with her sons but told Piers Morgan in a 2011 interview that once at a Christmas party Princess Diana threw at Kenington Palace, he declined to honor an impromptu request from Prince William to sing, admitting he felt terrible about saying no to “probably the future king of England” but was too embarrassed to sing in front of small crowds, joking “there was a day I would have been taken to the Tower”.  Because of George’s close bond with Princess Diana, for Prince William and Kate Middleton’s wedding, George wanted to give them a special gift and recorded a cover of Stevie Wonder’s “You and I” for their wedding.  He confirmed through a mutual friend that they both liked the song before making the track for them, hoping that they would be able to use it to raise donations for The Royal Wedding Charity Fund.

For me, it is the best thing to have come out of the Royal Wedding.

While George Michael’s scandals have been published exhaustively throughout the tabloids, much less ink has been dedicated to his charitable nature.  He was a kind gentle generous soul who quietly donated a lot of money to AIDS and cancer organizations, children’s charities, animal rescues and private individuals he heard about who needed help.  He not only gave of his money, but his time as well, volunteering at homeless shelters and various charities, asking fellow volunteers that his presence remain anonymous.

George Michael’s Older album has been said to have helped Prince William get through his mother’s death.  I imagine George Michael’s death had to have brought up old pain for Prince William, but hopefully it also reminded him of the positive impact his mother and her pop star friend had on the lives of so many and will inspire him to create his own legacy.

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28 thoughts on “George Michael & Princess Diana”

  1. A beautifully written requiem, Lola. Can you imagine the legacy of George Michael’s generosity and kindness over decades?

    I have become weary of the PR-invented ‘humanitarians’ , outraged with their self-serving mentality. In future I shall apply the George Michael test of true humility, immense kindness and unpublicised service to such wannabes when assessing the reality of their ‘work’.

    Thank you for such beautiful words.

  2. A fleeting sense of wholeness…beautiful words, and so true. We’re long past the age of the Romantics, but maybe those with the most to give also have the most to suffer, however obscured that suffering may be from the outside.

  3. George Michael was a better person than me…………I would never do anything for Prince William. Not at the Kensington Palace party, and certainly not now. Just looking at that photo of William and Kate flashing the damned ring is enough to irritate me on the Friday the 13th! I’m sorry to be so mean, but those two send me over the edge.

    George Michael was a real humanitarian. A talented artist. His death is one of the big losses of 2016, for sure. He will never be forgotten.

    1. I think he felt he had to do something special for them because he is Diana’s son. It didn’t sound like William felt the need to extend a wedding invitation to George despite his special relationship with his mother. George indicated that during the royal wedding he would be at a party hosted by comedians which he assumed would be irreverent in tone.

      1. Not as important as Elton John or David Beckham who William doesn’t even know!

        One would imagine William would have invited George because of his ties to Diana with how William is with using anyone connected to his mother.

        Man, I am cynical.

        1. Actually, Prince William used to call Elton John “Uncle Elton” as a child. Elton John’s friendship with Diana preceded George’s, but Diana and Elton had a falling out for a while, eventually reconciling over Gianni Versace’s death. George not being at the wedding struck me as odd. The only thing I can think of is Princess Diana would make comments to the effect that maybe there was a flicker of bisexuality left in George that she could use to light her fire so maybe that was weird for William but really I haven’t the foggiest. William’s wedding guest list was odd. Victoria Beckham wasn’t even sure why she was invited. When guests are confused, something went awry.

          1. I was wondering why Alexandra Shulman, the editor of Vogue UK, was invited to the wedding too. It was her comment about Kate doing her own makeup, must have been really obviously bad at the cathedral as apparently others commented too, that first made me think “oh no” and that Kate was going to do it her way. And 5 -6 years on? Kate sure is, makeup caked on at times, weird child like hairdos, strange alterations to expensive clothes..

  4. I love his music and it was really good to read about everything he did for charities. I thought it was wonderful that he did this basically without receiving any fanfare for it, but I do wish the world had known a bit about it so that he could have gotten some heartfelt thanks and to inspire other people to give if not money at least their time.

    2016 is a year that I want to leave in the rear view mirror. Not only did I lose people whose work I admired, I lost family members. It was just not a good year.

    Wonderful post Lola! Looking forward to more as the year continues.

    1. George believed that getting credit for charity work was self-congratulatory. He also struggled with being the focus of attention and was a bit shy one-on-one. He was more comfortable attempting to be a mysterious benefactor, I think heartfelt thanks would have embarrassed him and made him feel uncomfortable.

      I’m so sorry you lost family members last year. I did as well, my grandmother most recently.

      Hopefully this year will be kinder to us.

  5. A lovely tribute to my favorite singer. Like you, he provided much of the soundtrack to my pre-teen and teen years – such memories! He had so many demons, but a wonderful talent and a huge heart.

    1. Thanks, GingerMini. Unfortunately demons seem drawn to those with an open heart but it’s better to be plagued than not strive to share your blessings with humanity.

  6. Lola,

    Thank you for your generous gift of posting frequently, whatever the topic. Do you post elsewhere on other topics? I love your writing.

    🙂 FKF

  7. Dancing to him in my bedroom was an essential part of growing up. I still love Last Christmas and will play it all year long. It has been a horrible year for celebrity deaths, but then again I think any death is going to have a horrible effect for so many.

    Thanks for the beautiful post Lola!

    1. Thanks, SpringsMom. George created a lot of great dance music. I think my favorite song of his is actually “Kissing a Fool”, not conducive to bedroom dancing but his voice in it is seductively smoky, rich and smoldering. There is actually an NYU student film of me somewhere in the role of Video Vixen dancing to George Michael’s “Happy”.

  8. I grew up listening to George. I can’t actually remember a day that I didn’t listen. In fact my kids now sing his songs. I was in utter shock on Christmas, when I saw he had passed. I was listening to some of my favourite songs along with Last Christmas when I read the dreadful news. A few months back I mentioned to my husband that I sensed something was off with George and was concerned. It’s as though we all lost a very close friend, one that was taken much too soon. It doesn’t seem real. He touched so many worldwide, yet seemed to be in pain, with no end in sight. I hope his family takes comfort knowing how much he was loved. xx

    1. He was taken far too soon but always knew his life would not be a long one. George’s physical shell may have died but his spirit remains. I don’t think he truly realized in this life how much he was loved but hopefully as you said it does bring some comfort to his family.

  9. Thanks Lola, I fully agree with your comment. Still hurts though
    🙁

    Thanks for posting about GM, it hit home on many levels.

    Hope you’re well! xx

  10. Thank you for the lovely tribute to George Michael.
    I have a friend who worked with George on a video and she told me he was really nice to work with.

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