How Did George Michael Die? A Sad Christmas Day

how did george michael die? George michael singing in a concert
Image from Shutterstock.

Last updated on October 19th, 2023 at 04:24 am

George Michael, one half of the legendary pop duo Wham! and one of the best-selling musicians of all time, gave his heart and soul to making the world a better place.

Unfortunately, he also dealt with many issues. He spent much of his adult life dealing with drugs, alcohol, and struggling with his sexuality. 

Despite his best efforts, the beloved musician was taken from the world way too soon. How did George Michael die? Find out below.

When Did George Michael Die?

George Michael died on December 25, 2016.

How Old was George Michael When He Died?

George Michael was 53 when he died.

george michael singing on stage
Image from Shutterstock.

How Did George Michael Die?

The official cause of George Michael’s death, according to a report released in March 2017 from a senior coroner in Oxfordshire, England, was dilated cardiomyopathy with myocarditis, inflammation of the heart muscle, and a fatty liver.

Did George Michael Die in his Sleep?

It is believed that George Michael died in his sleep sometime between Christmas eve and Christmas morning 2016.

Who Was With George Michael When He Died?

George Michael’s body was discovered by his long-term boyfriend Fadi Fawaz on Christmas morning.

Related: How Did Prince Die? The Story Behind his Drug-Related Death 

Was George Michael Ill Before he Died?

No illness, other than the cardiomyopathy found during the autopsy, is known to have attributed to Michael’s death. 

Although he had a history of health problems and drug abuse, there was no evidence of any of those issues in the months leading up to his death.

What Disease Did George Michael Have?

After his death, George Michael was diagnosed with dilated cardiomyopathy, a heart muscle disease that causes the ventricles of the heart to thin and stretch, making it difficult for the heart to pump blood.  

Did George Michael Have a Problem With Drugs?

George Michael struggled with drug and alcohol abuse for many years leading up to his death, causing several run-ins with the law and leading to multiple arrests.

Michael admitted in an interview with BBC Radio 4’s Desert Island Discs podcast in September of 2007 that his biggest problem was with cannabis or marijuana. 

By December 2009, during an interview with The Guardian, he said that he’d cut back on the use of the drug. 

In 2014, he said he had been marijuana free for more than a year, but subsequently checked into a Switzerland rehab facility in June 2015.

He also admitted to having a problem with abusing sleeping pills.

Related: How Exactly Did Michael Jackson Die? The Death of a Superstar 

What Kind of Pneumonia Did George Michael Have?

George Michael was forced to cancel several shows of his Symphonica Tour in the fall of 2011 due to illness. 

What started as a viral infection in October eventually led to a stint in Vienna General Hospital in November after he began suffering from chest pains. 

Although he seemed to be doing well, his condition quickly worsened. It was later revealed that he was suffering from streptococcus pneumonia that had rendered him comatose, and he was in the intensive care unit until December 1. 

When he woke from the coma, his accent changed to a very western country sound, making doctors fear that he developed foreign accent syndrome, but the accent eventually faded.

He was released from the hospital on December 21.

Later in an interview with various press members, Michael revealed that while in the hospital, he had to undergo a tracheotomy and thanked the staff for saving his life.

Who Was George Michael’s Husband?

George Michael came out as gay during a 1999 interview with The Advocate.

Although he never formally married, Michael had three significant relationships. 

He dated Brazilian dress designer Anselmo Feleppa from 1991 to 1993, which ended with Feleppa’s death from an AIDS-related brain hemorrhage. 

Michael then dated Kenny Goss, a former flight attendant, cheerleading coach, and sportswear executive from Dallas, from 1996 to 2009. 

He began dating Fadi Fawaz, a Lebanese-Australian celebrity hairstylist and freelance photographer out of London, in 2012, and they remained together until Michael’s death.

Related: 19 Best Pop Songs for Your Playlist 

Who Are George Michael’s Children?

George Michael never fathered any children.

Where is George Michael Buried?

Because the official cause of his death was delayed, George Michael’s funeral was delayed until March 29, 2017. The funeral was a private ceremony with burial following at north London’s Highgate Cemetery. 

He was buried next to his mother, Georgios Kyriacos Panayiotou. His sister Melanie, who died exactly three years after her brother’s death, is buried on the other side of Michael.  

What was the Aftermath of George Michael’s Death?

Following his death, a temporary garden dedicated to his memory was created outside his former home in the summer of 2017. Michael’s fans maintained the garden for a year and a half before it was cleared away.

Several artists paid tribute to him in the months following his death.

On December 28, 2016, an emotional Elton John addressed the crowd during his show in Las Vegas.

During the 59th annual Grammy Awards in February 2017, Adele honored the late singer with a slow version of his hit, “Fastlove.” 

At the 2017 Brit Awards later that same month, Chris Martin, lead singer of Coldplay, sang Michael’s “A Different Corner.”

In honor of his many philanthropic efforts, Geri Halliwell, former member of the Spice Girls and Michael’s close friend, released “Angel in Chain,” a charity single in tribute to Michael. 

The song raised money for Childline, one of the many charities Michael supported over the years.  

Related: Lady Gaga Facts: Birthdate, Networth, and Much More 

geroge michael album next to the CD
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Who Did George Michael Leave His Money To?

George Michael’s assets and money were distributed among many. 

In March 2019, his large art collection was auctioned off in England for 11.3 million pounds ($13.6 million in the United States). The funds were then donated to many charitable organizations that Michael regularly supported throughout his life.

His will stated that a majority portion of his 97 million pound estate (equivalent to $116.9 million in the United States) was to be split between his sisters, his father, and various friends. 

Neither his current partner, Fadi Fawez, nor his former partner, Kenny Goss, were included.

What Was George Michael’s Legacy?

Throughout his 30-year career, George Michael won three Brit Awards, four MTV Video Music Awards, six Ivor Novello Awards, three American Music Awards, and two Grammy Awards.

He continues to be recognized posthumously, too. In 2019, Smooth Radio named him the greatest artist of all time.

On Wednesday, February 1, 2023, it was announced that Michael is listed among the nominees for the 2023 Rock ‘n Roll Hall of Fame class, along with the likes of Willie Nelson and Missy Elliott.  

George Michael’s Philanthropic Efforts

Throughout his life, George Michael was an avid supporter of several charitable organizations.

In November of 1984, he, along with several other popular British and Irish musicians, raised money for famine relief in Ethiopia with their collaboration on the song “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” 

It became the No. 1 Christmas song in the United Kingdom that December, selling 3.75 million copies.

Amazingly, “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” was the biggest-selling single in the country’s chart history until Elton John’s “Candle in the Wind 1997” following the death of Princess Diana.

His other notable works included those with The Prince’s Trust, the Elton John AIDS Foundation, and Rainbow Trust Children’s Charity and Childline.

After his death, several other philanthropic works on Michael’s part were revealed, including his role in anonymously helping a woman who had been struggling to conceive a child pay for IVF treatment

Michael had apparently seen the woman’s appearance on an episode of This Morning in 2010. She delivered a baby girl in 2012. 

That baby girl is only one of several that Michael had a role in bringing into the world with his charitable gifts.

George Michael is sure to be remembered for both his music and his charitable works.

You might also enjoy:

How Did Amy Winehouse Die? The True Story Behind the Singer’s Tragic Death 

How Did Avicci Die? The Tragic Story of One of the Greatest DJs of Our Time 

What is Harry Styles’ Net Worth? The Amount May Shock You

Written by Erik Ritland

Erik Ritland is a songwriter, musician, journalist, and podcaster based in Nashville, Tennessee. He’s released over a dozen albums since 2002, most recently Old Dog Almost Gone (2021), the first-ever multimedia album, and his latest collection of all original material, A Scientific Search (2020). During his 15+ years as a music journalist, Erik has written hundreds of articles for Music in Minnesota, Something Else Reviews, his own blog Rambling On, and more. In addition to continuing his music career, Erik currently runs The Cosmic American, a music journalism website, and is the editor of Music in Minnesota.


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