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George Michael: How sex, drugs took toll on troubled singer

George Michael, famous for his pop classics such Careless Whisper, Praying for Time and Faith, had said once that he suffered from two afflictions -- grief and self-abuse.

music Updated: Dec 26, 2016 18:05 IST
IANS
British singer and actor George Michael leaves a news conference for the film 'George Michael - A Different Story' in Berlin February 16, 2005. REUTERS/Tobias Schwarz/File Photo
British singer and actor George Michael leaves a news conference for the film 'George Michael - A Different Story' in Berlin February 16, 2005. REUTERS/Tobias Schwarz/File Photo

Singer-songwriter George Michael, who was found dead on Sunday at his home in Oxfordshire, England, had once said that he had spent the past 20 years trying to sabotage his glittering career via a series of humiliating drug and sex scandals.

“But my career just seems to right itself like a plastic duck in a bath and, in some ways, I resent that,” he said.

Michael, who wrote and performed pop classics including Careless Whisper, Praying for Time and Faith, said that he suffered from two afflictions -’grief and self-abuse’, reports dailymail.co.uk.

He would smoke enormous amounts of marijuana -- up to 25 joints a day at some points in his career. He also struggled with depression, following the death of his lover Anselmo Feleppa from an HIV-related illness in 1993, and of his mother, of cancer, in 1997.

His drug use included a dependency on sleeping pills and a dabble with designer drug GHB. In 2008, Michael was caught smoking crack cocaine in a public toilet.

(FILE): This file photo taken on September 6, 1997 shows pop stars George Michael (L) and Elton John (R) leaving Westminster Abbey following the funeral service of Diana, Princess of Wales. (AFP)

Michael was in the habit of cruising for sex with strangers -- an activity he declared he had started in his teens. He had told friend Piers Morgan that he had up to 500 sexual partners in seven years.

Eventually, his relationship with long-term lover Kenny Goss also collapsed. They had been together for 12 years and some believed that he missed their relationship to the very last.

According to dailymail.co.uk, Goss remained close to Michael after the break up. Goss even flew to Austria to visit him in hospital when he contracted pneumonia in November 2011.

Earlier that year, he had decided he should stop making such a mess of his life, and move forward. The final straw had been his jailing, for a second drug-driving offence, in September 2011.

The singer, who had dropped out of public view after releasing his last album Symphonica in March 2014, was said to be smoking crack cocaine again.

Michael, who wrote and performed pop classics including Careless Whisper, Praying for Time and Faith, said that he suffered from two afflictions -’grief and self-abuse’. (REUTERS)

In September this year, it was announced his 1990 album Listen Without Prejudice Volume 1 was set to be reissued, accompanied by a film featuring Stevie Wonder, Elton John and the supermodels who starred in the video to his hit single Freedom! ‘90.

His last boyfriend Fadi Fawaz is a London-based hair stylist of Lebanese origin. They were last seen together in September last year, after which Michael was rarely seen in public, reports dailymail.co.uk.

Michael sold more than 80 million records worldwide in a career spanning four decades. He was one of pop music’s reigning stars in the 1980s and 1990s and some of his popular singles includes “Wake me up before you go-go” with Wham!. Later he released a pop album in 1987 titled “Faith”.

He won a Grammy Award in 1988 for “I knew you were waiting (for me)”, a duet with Aretha Franklin, and “Faith” won the Grammy for Album of the Year.