Singer of the hit 80s pop group Wham! George Michael has reportedly passed away in his sleep in his Oxfordshire home today, his publicist said
One of the most notable pop singers of the 80s, George Michael, has died at the young age of 53, said his publicist who also noted that he died in his sleep of unknown causes.
Speculation on the internet is pointing towards drugs or AIDS, but there have not been any reports of Michael having the AIDS virus. Until the coroner’s report is released, we can’t know for sure what he died from.
One of his most heat-wrenching songs “One More Try” is below. Please give it a watch in remembrance of his beautiful contribution to music. The world has lost a gentle soul today.
George Michael – whose real name is Georgios Kyriacos Panayiotou – sold more than 100m albums throughout a career spanning almost four decades. In 2016, Michael announced a second documentary on his life entitled Freedom, set to be released in March 2017. To mark the reissue of his seminal second album George will narrate a film about his nineties heyday. Naomi Campbell, Christy Turlington, Cindy Crawford, Tatjana Patitz and Linda Evangelista will all talk about their friendship with the 53-year-old and their role in the iconic clip – marking the first time they have been reunited in twenty-six years.
Probably the most notable song in the singer’s solo career was “I Want Your Sex”, which featured a video of Michael singing and a naked woman. This became a problem for Michael in his private life when people questioned his sexuality — most who knew him personally thought he was gay, but he claimed he was bisexual.
The pop singer became known for being out and proud about his bisexuality and served as a beacon for the LGBTQ community since the early 80s when the group he sang with Wham! got big for their hit song “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go”. After being arrested in Beverly Hills for “lewd conduct” in a public restroom by an undercover cop, Michael said in an MTV interview,
“I got followed into the restroom and then this cop—I didn’t know it was a cop, obviously—he started playing this game, which I think is called, ‘I’ll show you mine, you show me yours, and then when you show me yours, I’m going to nick you!”
Michael was arrested by an undercover policeman named Marcelo Rodríguez, in a sting operation using so-called “pretty police”, otherwise known as the Cottaging in the 1980s. The cottaging were basically cops pretending to be gay men with the sole purpose of catching gay men being gay and charging them with “led conduct”. It is one of the most homophobic practices in modern history and was outlawed in 2003 with the replacement of a more rational approach to the law by focusing on “indecent exposure” instead.
A rumor started by a satire site was highly cited by quite a few blogs, showing just how easily the public is swayed into believing anything that shows up in their Facebook feed
When someone on Facebook posted a link to an article claiming that Emma Watson and Margot Robbie were to be in a lesbian remake of the 2005 film Brokeback Mountain, it was obvious to me right away that this was completely untrue, but I still had to click to find out about it. Interestingly enough, the article was replaced with a statement from the server (or made to look like it was from the server) saying there were “Too many requests”, which, if true, would mean the article was so highly cited that the server couldn’t handle the load. Now I really had to find out if this were true, so I looked it up in a search engine and found numerous other blogs talking about it, but nobody with any actual confirmations of the rumor. Sure enough, one look at the original article’s front page revealed the truth. At the bottom of the page, in the footer, the site states the following:
Disclaimer: All stories on this site are satire and the opinions expressed do not belong to any real people. If persons appear in the picture they have nothing to do with the story.
Satire sites have been a real problem on social media in recent times due to how quickly the articles will get shared and re-shared on people’s walls, timelines, in groups, and in comments on threads. During the Presidential Primaries this year, for example, many political satire stories cluttered up the truth, making it difficult for people to discern for themselves the real picture and decide on which candidate was the best option for their party. Satire is fun, but this is a very common problem that results from such websites.
The truth is that both Emma Watson and Margot Robbie are very involved in other projects right now and that a female version of Brokeback Mountain to come out in 2017, as realistic as the idea might be to some, really wouldn’t work with their schedules. Robbie has had a very busy 2016 with filming four movies, including Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, The Legend of Tarzan, the much anticipated DC comics’ Suicide Squad, and is in the middle of filming Terminal, a film about two hitmen.
Watson, on the other hand, is currently taking an acting sabbatical after finishing up filming The Circle, an upcoming sci-fi film with Tom Hanks and a live action remake of Beauty and the Beast set for 2017, and is more involved in being the United Nation’s feminist ambassador.
American Horror Story fans got a surprise Monday as tidbits of information about Season 6 appeared on social media channels for the show. Many were certain the Season 6 theme would soon be announced after these channels went black on June 14; however, as of Monday, the AHS Facebook, Instagram and Twitter accounts don profile pictures… Continue reading →
Justin Timberlake has publicly apologized after receiving a wave of backlash for a tweet praising Jesse Williams’ impassioned speech Sunday night at the BET Awards. Mr. Williams received a standing ovation after he addressed systemic racism in the U.S. and the appropriation of black culture in the entertainment industry. Mr. Timberlake, who is white, wrote simply… Continue reading →
Rihanna and Sia previously penned a smash-hit tune about glittering objects floating in the infinity of space. So it’s a natural fit that they’d return to collaborating for the new “Star Trek Beyond” film. Rihanna has released a new single, “Sledgehammer,” from the sci-fi epic’s soundtrack. The song is in a new trailer for the film,… Continue reading →
Indeed, it seems as though before we can even finish mourning the loss of one pop star, another falls. There’s no shortage of groundbreaking artists who die prematurely, whether it’s Michael Jackson, Elvis Presley or Hank Williams.
As a physician, I’ve begun to wonder: Is being a superstar incompatible with a long, healthy life? Are there certain conditions that are more likely to cause a star’s demise? And finally, what might be some of the underlying reasons for these early deaths?
To find out the answer to each of these questions, I analyzed the 252 individuals who made Rolling Stone’s list of the 100 greatest artists of the rock & roll era.
More than their share of accidents
To date, 82 of the 252 members of this elite group have died.
There were six homicides, which occurred for a range of reasons, from the psychiatric obsession that led to the shooting of John Lennon to the planned “hits” on rappers Tupac Shakur and Jam Master Jay. There’s still a good deal of controversy about the shooting of Sam Cooke by a female hotel manager (who was likely protecting a prostitute who had robbed Cooke). Al Jackson Jr., the renowned drummer with Booker T & the MGs, was shot in the back five times in 1975 by a burglar in a case that still baffles authorities.
An accident can happen to anyone, but these artists seem to have more than their share. There were numerous accidental overdoses – Sid Vicious of the Sex Pistols at age 21, David Ruffin of the Temptations at 50, The Drifters’ Rudy Lewis at 27, and country great Gram Parsons, who was found dead at 26.
And while your odds of dying in a plane crash are about one in five million, if you’re on Rolling Stone’s list, those odds jump to one in 84: Buddy Holly, Otis Redding and Ronnie Van Zant of the Lynyrd Skynyrd Band all died in airplane accidents while on tour.
It’s likely tied to the elevated alcohol and drug use among artists. Liver bile duct cancers – which are extremely rare – happened to two of the top 100, with Ray Manzarek of The Doors and Tommy Ramone of the Ramones both succumbing prematurely from a cancer that normally affects one in 100,000 people a year.
The vast majority of those on Rolling Stone’s list were born in the 1940s and reached maturity during the 1960s, when tobacco smoking peaked. So not surprisingly, a significant portion of artists died from lung cancer: George Harrison of the Beatles at age 58, Carl Wilson of the Beach Boys at 51, Richard White of Pink Floyd at 65, Eddie Kendricks of the Temptations at 52 and Obie Benson of the Four Tops at 69. Throat cancer – also linked with smoking – caused the deaths of country great Carl Perkins at 65 and Levon Helm of The Band at 71.
A good number from the list had heart attacks or heart failure, such as Ian Stewart of the Rolling Stones at 47 and blues greats Muddy Waters at 70, Howlin Wolf at 65, Roy Orbison at 52 and Jackie Wilson at 49.
Currently, the U.S. is in the midst of an opioid abuse epidemic, with heroin and prescription drug overdoses happening at historic rates.
But for rock stars, opioid abuse is nothing new. Elvis Presley, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Sid Vicious, Gram Parsons, Whitney Houston (who didn’t make the list), Michael Jackson and now Prince all died from accidental opioid overdoses.
Factoring in their birth year and a life expectancy of 76 years, only 44 should have died by now. Instead, 82 have. (Incidentally, of the 44 we would have expected to be dead by now, 19 are still alive.)
The second shocking discovery was the sobering and disproportional
occurrence of alcohol- and drug-related deaths.
There was Kurt Cobain’s gunshot suicide while intoxicated and Duane Allman’s drunk driving motorcycle crash. Members of legendary bands like The Who (John Entwistle, 57, and Keith Moon, 32), The Doors (Jim Morrison, 27), The Byrds (Gene Clark, 46, and Micheal Clarke, 47) and The Band (Rick Danko, 55, and Richard Manuel, 42) all succumbed to alcohol or drugs.
Others – The Grateful Dead’s Jerry Garcia and country star Hank Williams – steadily declined from substance abuse while their organs deteriorated. Their official causes of death were heart-related. In truth, the cause may have been more directly related to substance abuse.
In all, alcohol and drugs accounted for at least one in 10 of these great artists’ deaths.
Does a quest for fame lead to an early demise?
Many have explored the root causes behind these premature deaths.
One answer may come from dysfunctional childhoods: experiencing physical or sexual abuse, having a depressed parent or having a family broken up by tragedy or divorce. An article published in the British Medical Journal found that “adverse childhood experiences” may act as a motivator to become successful and famous as a way to move past childhood trauma.
The authors noted an increased incidence of these adverse childhood experiences among famous artists. Unfortunately, the same adverse experiences also predispose people to depression, drug use, risky behaviors and premature death.
A somewhat similar hypothesis is proposed by the Self Determination Theory, which addresses human motivation through the lens of “intrinsic” versus “extrinsic” life aspirations. People who have intrinsic goals seek inward happiness and contentment. On the other hand, people who possess extrinsic goals focus on material success, fame and wealth – the exact sort of thing attained by these exceptional artists. According to research, people who have extrinsic goals tend to have had less-involved parents and are more likely to experience bouts of depression.
By following the relationship between genius and mental illness, mental illness and substance abuse, and then substance abuse, health problems and accidental death, you can see why so many great artists seem almost destined for a premature or drug-induced demise.
The biggest night in theatre is here with the Tony Awards 2016. James Corden is hosting the celebration live from the Beacon Theatre in New York City. The 70th Annual gala will be live streamed on the CBS All Access App available for iOS, Android and internet connected devices. Fans will also be able to view… Continue reading →
One of the hottest couples in Hollywood is about to be no more.
On Monday, actress Amber Heard filed for divorce from Johnny Depp citing “irreconcilable differences” after only 15 months of marriage.
Depp, who left his girlfriend of 14 years and mother of his children for Heard, had made a string of poorly received movies recently and went out of his way to come to Heard’s aid when she got into a bit of trouble trying to smuggle her dog into Australia, for which she was convicted of the crime and released a cringe-worthy video apology with Depp.
Heard has reportedly asked for alimony from Depp, to which he has resounded a big fat “No”. While Depp is a multimillionaire, the young actress has only been in a few movies and clearly hopes to leave the marriage with some of Depp’s fortune to start a new life. There’s no word, yet, about whether they have an active prenuptial agreement.
Missy Elliott released a long-anticipated new song and music video on Thursday titled “WTF (Where They From),” delighting fans who may have needed a little more Missy in their lives. Elliott, 44, is beloved by those who remember her numerous 1990s and early-aughts hits, including “Get Ur Freak On” and “Work It.” She has won five… Continue reading →
In probably the worst PR flop a pop singer could make this day in age, Azealia Banks took to twitter the other day to say she felt the LGBT community is “like the gay white KKK”.
Let’s say you’re a woman. A bisexual woman. And let’s say you’re also African American and a musician. You probably have a lot of pent up rage that could send you into a rapping frenzy at any moment. When those lyrics are spit, you probably use poetic license to back up your right to free speech, and you probably get away with it most of the time because music is an art form and art has a long history of being radical and challenging the system we live in.
But when you say something on Twitter, you aren’t appropriated a poetic license. Twitter is a communications tool and, unless you’re known for shocking performance art involving social media, you should probably watch what you say. After all, it wasn’t too long ago that Anthony Cumia of the Opie and Anthony Show got fired from Sirius XM for his racist twitter tirade regarding a black female who assaulted him in the middle of the night in Times Square after he took pictures of her butt. If entertainers should have learned anything from that event, it’s that the things you say online under your own name will be held against you in the court of public opinion. Why, then, would Azealia Banks say such a thing without thinking?
Probably because she’s an idiot.
She removed the original tweet, but here’s a screenshot:
Afterwards, she received some backlash to which she responded the following typical backpedaling we always see from pop stars with below average intelligence:
There is so much wrong with these tweets, I’m not sure where to start so let’s just take it from the top..
“All I had to do is say one word and I moved a whole community. What weaklings!!!”
So, you moved a community and you think that makes them weak? Last I checked, weakness is when people do nothing in the face of bigotry…
“You boys gotta toughen up!!! Don’t be so weak !!! If one word can put your entire community in distress you’re DOOMED”
The thing is, not all people are the same. Some people are sensitive. That’s part of being alive in a society where divergent lifestyles, cultures, races, religions and personalities exist. Being insensitive to words that hurt people with access to the internet (such as gay fans, perhaps?) means you don’t give a hoot about anyone but yourself. It’s called “tolerance”, Azealia, learn it.
“You all CHOSE to get upset. Remember… Offense is only TAKEN, it is never given.”
This is some immature thinking. I used to think like that, too. I also used to think it was OK to hit someone when they wouldn’t stop taunting me. See, I was in middle school. I’m 36 years old now and made enough mistakes to know that violence doesn’t solve anything and only makes things worse. The same goes for saying shitty things on a loud speaker in front of THE ENTIRE WORLD. How old are you, Ms. Banks? 24? Maybe I’ll give you a pass….for now….
None of this is shocking at this point, as Banks has been on somewhat of a rampage with her gay bashing and proclamations that she should be able to say whatever she wants. After an altercation with a flight attendant caught on video where Banks called the attendant a “F*cking F*ggot”, she tweeted that she was bisexual, that her brother was transsexual and that her employees were all gay men:
This type of behavior is residual from decades of gay bashing that made the word “F*ggot” a pejorative for not just gay people but anyone you don’t like, a topic that became a bit in comedian Louis CK’s arsenal from his Chewed Up stand-up special in 2008. While it works as a comedy routine in his special way of getting around actually offending people, he also brings the word to reality in the second episode of his hit TV show Louie on FX when a group of comics are sitting around playing cards and the topic comes up when one of them, Nick DiPaolo, asks a gay comic at the table, Rick Crom, what it feels like to *ahem* receive anal sex. Crom goes on to explain the emotional pain that the f-word brings back up. See, in the Middle Ages, a “faggot” meant “a bundle of sticks to build a fire” and, since society felt gay people were so sub-human that they equated to fire kindle, they would throw gay people on the fire instead of strapping them to a stake with the witches. Yea. It’s that horrible of a slur. In fact, it’s as bad as saying the n-word to a black person.
Unfortunately, Azealia Banks doesn’t think so. She thinks it’s totally OK to say whatever you want, which is great, but she should also, maybe, perhaps censor herself a LITTLE bit… at least when using twitter.