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How Did George Michael Die? The Tragic Story

May 31, 2023
how did george michael die

On December 25, 2016, the news of George Michael’s unexpected death at the age of 53 made headlines globally.

Celebrity associates and admirers expressed their condolences while grief-stricken fans began laying flowers and leaving cards outside George’s residence in Goring-on Thames, where he was discovered deceased by his partner Fadi Fawaz.

George Michael was part of the iconic pop duo Wham! and one of the most successful musicians in history, devoted his passion and energy to improving the world.

Regrettably, he also faced several problems, including substance abuse, alcohol addiction, and grappling with his sexual identity for much of his adult life.

Despite his sincere attempts to overcome these issues, the cherished artist was tragically taken from the world far too soon.

George Michael Died On Christmas 2016

In 2012, George Michael achieved his final significant UK chart success and had mostly withdrawn from public life, except for sporadic appearances.

However, millions of individuals remember the esteemed musician for his contributions to the holiday music repertoire during Christmas.

He was a featured vocalist on the Band-Aid charity single “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” and, with Wham!, recorded the popular song “Last Christmas.”

It is particularly sorrowful, eerie, and paradoxical that George Michael passed away on Christmas Day in 2016 while, somewhere in the world, his music was bringing joy to someone’s life.

On Christmas day, Michael’s significant other, Fadi Fawaz, arrived at the singer’s home in Oxfordshire for their planned festive lunch.

However, upon entering the house, Fawaz discovered Michael’s lifeless body “lying peacefully in bed,” as he recounted to The Telegraph.

The authorities called to the location were initially perplexed by the death, but they did not suspect foul play.

Attempted Suicide 

According to a coroner’s report (via The Guardian), George Michael’s abrupt and unexpected demise at the age of 53 in December 2016 was due to a fatty liver, as well as dilated cardiomyopathy and myocarditis, two severe heart conditions.

However, Michael’s partner, Fadi Fawaz, has a different belief that Michael did not pass away naturally but took his own life.

Fawaz’s assumption is based on his familiarity with Michael’s conduct and the date of his demise.

Fadi Fawaz, who was in a romantic relationship with George Michael from 2012 to 2016, informed The Telegraph that “George died on his mother’s birthday, so that might answer a few questions.”

Michael’s mother’s passing in 1997 caused him to suffer from severe depression, and her birthday coincided with Christmas, the day of Michael’s demise.

Fawaz further stated, “Not to mention it took five attempts to manage to end his life.”

Therefore, even if Michael had indeed died of heart and liver issues in 2016, it appears that he had unfortunately attempted to take his own life on four previous occasions.

George Michael’s Childhood

George Michael’s childhood years were not extremely traumatic, but they were reportedly impacted by a harmful sense of aloofness and detachment from his family.

The future superstar, whose given name was Georgios Kyriacos Panayiotou, was brought up in a small London flat by both his parents.

However, his father, a migrant who owned a restaurant, was seldom present, resulting in a divide between father and son.

Michael recounted to People, “I was never praised, never held.

So it wasn’t exactly the Little House on the Prairie.”

Though George Michael had an interest in music from a young age and even wrote his first song at six years old after discovering an old gramophone in his parent’s garage, he didn’t consider making music his life’s calling until he suffered a serious head injury.

Michael recounted in his memoir Bare, “At the age of about eight, I had a head injury, and I know it sounds bizarre and unlikely, but it was quite a bad bang, and I had it stitched up and stuff.

Suddenly, all I wanted to know about was music.”

However, he didn’t immediately inform his father of his aspirations.

“Funnily enough, my father always used to say that he didn’t think I could sing,” Michael revealed to Event Magazine.

George Michael’s Drug Problems

George Michael’s struggle with substance abuse started during his solo career, according to an interview with his former Wham! manager, Simon Napier-Bell. 

His drug use became more severe over time, and in 2008, he was found by police using crack cocaine and marijuana in a public restroom in North London.

Although only small amounts of drugs were found on him, he was released without facing any legal consequences.

Kenny Goss, George Michael’s former partner for 15 years, claimed that drug use was a regular occurrence for the singer.

“I would find drugs and flush everything down the toilet,” Goss said in an interview with The Sun.

“He was absent-minded, so he would just think he’d lost them.”

In a 2009 interview with The Guardian, Michael revealed that during the height of his drug use, he survived “on a glance of Starbucks and weed,” smoking approximately 24 joints per day.

However, by the time of the interview, he had reduced his daily intake to “seven or eight.”

George Michael’s addiction to drugs and its consequences were well-known to the public, including his arrests for drug possession and public intoxication.

However, his struggles with drugs were even more troubling than what his fans knew, particularly during his final years.

George’s close friend Gary Farrow believes that drugs were the root of his issues, “I think that the availability of drugs was the root cause of his problems.

Once this addiction takes hold of you, it’s difficult to overcome.”

The Telegraph quoted an anonymous source close to George Michael as saying that his substance abuse had nearly caused his death on multiple occasions.

The source revealed that the singer had been taken to the emergency room several times due to drug overdoses and had even used heroin.

Despite this, the source expressed amazement that Michael had survived as long as he did.


Due to the need for toxicology tests, George’s family had to delay the funeral arrangements, resulting in the ceremony occurring three months after his passing.

The intimate service, attended by his loved ones, was held on March 29, 2017, at Highgate West Cemetery’s small 30-seat chapel.

Security was tight during the service, with the cemetery’s iron gates covered by a black tarp.

It is believed that George Michael’s body was transported in a private ambulance, as no hearse was seen entering the cemetery.

After the service, mourners gathered at the singer’s house in Hampstead, which was less than a mile away from the cemetery, for a wake.

Who Inherited George Michael’s Wealth?

According to his will, George Michael bequeathed £97.6 million to his sisters, father, and several close friends.

Most of his estate was divided between his sisters, Yioda and Melanie, while his father, Kyriacos, was left with a horse racing stud farm, where he has resided for many years.

A source revealed that Michael was devoted to his sisters and father and always intended to provide for them.

Additionally, seven friends and family members, including Shirlie Kemp, a backing singer for Wham!, and record producer David Austin, were also named beneficiaries.


George Michael was a highly acclaimed artist during his three-decade career, having won multiple prestigious awards, including three Brit Awards, two Grammy Awards, four MTV Video Music Awards, three American Music Awards, and six Ivor Novello Awards. 

Even after his death, his talent continues to be celebrated.

For instance, in 2019, Smooth Radio named him the greatest artist of all time.

Furthermore, on February 1, 2023, it was announced that Michael had been nominated for the 2023 Rock ‘n Roll Hall of Fame class alongside other esteemed musicians such as Willie Nelson and Missy Elliott.  

George Michael’s Philanthropic Efforts

George Michael was known for his support of various charitable causes throughout his life.

In 1984, he joined forces with other popular British and Irish musicians to create the song “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” to raise money for famine relief in Ethiopia.

The song was a huge success, reaching No. 1 on the UK charts that December and selling 3.75 million copies.

It held the record for the biggest-selling single in UK chart history until 1997 when Elton John’s “Candle in the Wind 1997” surpassed it after the death of Princess Diana.

Will Fenton

Will, the founder of MIDDER, is a multifaceted individual with a deep passion for music and personal finance. As a self-proclaimed music and personal finance geek, he has a keen eye for futuristic technologies, especially those that empower creators and the public.

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