I’ve despised “Last Christmas” for as long as I can remember. But I let it play out on the all-Christmas-all-the-time station as I got in the car from a last-minute grocery store run, not long after laying waste to Santa’s deliveries on the merriest of days. Then the DJ dropped the news.
In what can boldly be described as a surgical strike on the final line of defense for anything resembling hope that this unholy annihilator of a year would end with mercy, George Michael has died on Christmas Day.
“It is with great sadness that we can confirm our beloved son, brother and friend George passed away peacefully at home over the Christmas period,” read a statement from his publicist. ”The family would ask that their privacy be respected at this difficult and emotional time. There will be no further comment at this stage.”
You can deduce on your own what kind of God would take a man who wrote one of the world’s cornerstone Christmas ballads. The man who made us all wonder if it made us a little bit gay that Faith kicked our asses so hard. The same guy who soundtracked my mother’s divorce and eventual rise from the wreckage as I was riding around in the backseat of her black Mustang, listening to the world’s saddest precursor to carpool karaoke.
The party at the intersection of innovation, style and sexual expression has been raided and ruined. Prince. Bowie. Michael.
A reminder of Michael’s impact will arrive next year via a documentary release to accompany the reissue of his 1990 album Listen Without Prejudice Vol. 1. The film is narrated by Michael and will feature Mark Ronson, Mary J. Blige, Tony Bennett, Liam Gallagher, James Corden and Ricky Gervais.
Earlier this month, the man born Georgios Kyriacos Panayiotou announced that he and producer-songwriter Naughty Boy were working together on a new album. No word on the status of its progress.
There’s still a week left in this fucking year.