George Michael’s music has captivated listeners all around the world since he rose to stardom in the 1980s, thus his untimely death in 2016 surprised many fans.
Following his triumph as a member of the mega-successful musical duet Wham!, Michael moved on to begin a solo career, selling millions of records. Behind the scenes, however, his personal life was not without conflict. In the 1990s, he lost both his first love, Anselmo Feleppa, and his mother, Lesley Angold Panayiotou, resulting in one of his saddest periods.
Michael was involved in a legal struggle with his record company in the years that followed. He was caught in a Beverly Hills park in 1998, revealing his sexual orientation to the entire world. He then faced a slew of legal issues regarding drug use and drunk driving, all of which resulted in jail time.
While Michael was able to put some of his difficulties behind him before his death in 2016, his family and friends hope that he will be remembered for his kindness and charitable work rather than his difficulties.
So, how did George Michael die? Here are the specifics of his untimely death and the legacy he left behind.
How Did George Michael Die?
On December 25, 2016, Michael died at home. At the time of his death, he was 53 years old. An autopsy was carried out in the days following Michael’s death, which yielded “inconclusive” results. The Thames Valley police said at the time that Michael’s death was “unexplained but not suspicious.”
Extensive testing was performed over the next few months, which ultimately revealed Michael’s death was due to natural causes. Michael died of dilated cardiomyopathy, myocarditis, and fatty liver, according to the coroner examining his death.
According to the Mayo Clinic, dilated cardiomyopathy is a cardiac ailment in which the left ventricle expands and fails to pump blood. As the muscle weakens, heart failure can ensue. Myocarditis is a cardiac inflammation that is typically caused by a viral infection.
Meanwhile, fatty liver disease is the accumulation of fat in the liver, which is most typically caused by alcoholism, according to the Mayo Clinic. (However, the condition can affect persons who do not drink heavily.) Obesity and diabetes are two other common causes of fatty liver.
“Enquiries into the death of George Michael have been concluded and the final post-mortem report received,” stated the coroner in a statement. “As there is a confirmed natural cause of death, being Dilated Cardiomyopathy with Myocarditis and Fatty Liver, the investigation is being discontinued and there is no need for an inquest or any further enquiries.”
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Where Did George Michael Die?
In the English village of Goring-on-Thames, which is a part of South Oxfordshire, Michael was found dead at home. His partner Fadi Fawaz claims to have found Michael unconscious in bed when he discovered his lifeless corpse.
Fawaz attempted to awaken Michael for an hour, according to a 911 call, before dialing for help. When speaking with the emergency dispatcher, Fawaz described the singer as “cold” and “blue.” Asked if he thought Michael was “beyond help,” Fawaz replied that he had spent an “hour” attempting to revive him and now thought he was “gone.”
In response to the operator’s question about if the death was “expected,” Fawaz reportedly said, “No, no, no, no, no, no, I’ve been waiting for him to wake him up for like, you know, for hours and he wouldn’t wake up, I went to wake him up and he was gone, you know, he’s not there.”
Fawaz tweeted about the incident in the days that followed, saying that it had been challenging to spend Christmas morning attempting to resuscitate his companion.
“ITs a xmas I will never forget finding your partner dead peacefully in bed first thing in the morning.. I will never stop missing you xx,” he tweeted.
ITs a xmas i will never forget finding your partner dead peacefully in bed first thing in the morning.. I will never stop missing you xx
— Fadi Fawaz (@fadifawaz) December 26, 2016
What Were George Michael’s Last Words?
Michael was working on a documentary on his life in the days preceding his death, which was later named George Michael: Freedom. Michael’s final discussions were featured in the 90-minute documentary, which broadcast over a year after his death. He talked about his first love, Anselmo, and his mother, Lesley, in it.
Michael also stated that he had been “picked on by the gods.” He recalled the time between Feleppa’s AIDS diagnosis and his mother’s death as some of the darkest in his life.
“From the day I found out about my partner to the day I can say I was on the mend from my mother, it was just constant fear. It was either fear of death, or fear of the next bereavement,” he remembered. “I’d never felt that kind of depression. It was the darkest time.”
Michael’s dying moments are unknown because he is thought to have been alone the night before his death. Fawaz claims that he did not spend any time with Michael on Christmas Eve.
“I never saw him. I fell asleep in my car and I never saw him that night,” Fawaz told The Mirror.