George Michael

As George Michael’s boyfriend Fadi Fawaz told of how he found him dead in bed, reports have emerged of the superstar’s secret battle with heroin.

According to The Daily Telegraph UK, a source said over the past year he is thought to have been battling a spiralling heroin addiction.

The source also revealed that Michael had been treated in hospital for an overdose.

The source told The Daily Telegraph: “He’s been rushed to A&E on several occasions. He used heroin. I think it’s amazing he’s lasted as long as he has.”

The news comes as fans, friends and charities have paid tribute to the generosity of the pop icon who secretly donated millions to good causes.

The reclusive pop superstar died at his home on Christmas Day, 25th of December, 2016, from suspected heart failure.

Fellow musician Sir Elton John said he was in “deep shock” at the loss of “a beloved friend”.

Wham

GEORGE MICHAEL’S EARLY SUCCESS

A musician great known for both his chart-topping hits and his turbulent personal life, George Michael was a giant of pop culture.

The WHAM! singer and solo performer enjoyed a glittering chart career, having sold more than 100 million records including seven number one singles in the UK, with tracks such as ‘Careless Whisper’ and ‘Faith’.

He carved out an international name for himself, but brushes with the law and tales of his drug use increasingly made more impact than his musical output. The hit machine slowed, chart positions faltered and incidents of drug possession, driving offences and personal problems became the chief reasons for his occasional returns to the spotlight.

His last appearance in the top 10 was in 2004 and a Christmas single released last December climbed to just number 14 despite a devoted fanbase. Michael entered a period of semi-retirement in 2008, quitting live performances and seeking a “quieter life” out of the public eye.

Michael found fame as a teenager in the early 1980s after forming Wham! with school friend Andrew Ridgeley.

The pair enjoyed hit after hit, including ‘Wake Me Up Before You Go Go’, ‘Club Tropicana’, ‘Young Guns (Go For It)’ and ‘Last Christmas’.

The huge success of Wham! lead them to be the first major Western band to play in China after the death of Mao Zedong and decades of cultural isolation. Many Chinese who had never even heard of the band lined up for hours to buy $1.75 tickets to the groundbreaking April 1985 concert at the People’s Gymnasium, the biggest stadium in Beijing at the time.

As a solo artist, he developed into a more serious singer and songwriter, lauded by critics for his tremendous vocal range.

He sold well over 100 million albums globally, earned numerous Grammy and American Music Awards, and recorded duets with legends like Aretha Franklin, Ray Charles, Luciano Pavarotti and Elton John.

His career suffered a blow, however, when, after years of refusing to be drawn on speculation about his sexuality, he was arrested in public toilets in Beverly Hills, California, in 1998 for engaging in a lewd act.

The incident forced him to disclose his homosexuality and his relationship with American Kenny Goss.

TROUBLE WITH THE LAW

Health scares dogged the last decade of Michael’s life.

Last year he publicly denied new allegations about drug-taking, describing them as ‘‘highly inaccurate’‘.

Michael nearly died from pneumonia in late 2011. After receiving treatment in a Vienna hospital, he made a tearful appearance outside his London home and said it had been ‘‘touch and go’‘ whether he lived.

He was also beset by legal troubles. In 2007 he pleaded guilty to driving while unfit through drugs and was banned from driving for two years after being found slumped over the wheel of his car.

In 2008 Michael took a step back from the public eye but less than a month later he was once again in the glare when he was cautioned for possession of class A drugs, which included crack cocaine, and class C drugs.

George Michael

GEORGE’S SECRET GENEROSITY

Michael, 53, had largely disappeared from the public stage in recent years but in private he was extraordinarily generous with his wealth.

The former Wham! singer donated royalties from some of his biggest hits to charity, gave a game show contestant thousands to fund IVF treatment and left a woman in a cafe £25,000 ($42,600) after overhearing her crying about debt.

He helped countless children as a result of his donations to the UK children’s charity Childline.

Childline founder Esther Rantzen said Michael gave royalties from his 1996 hit ‘Jesus To A Child’ to the charity, which offers phone counselling for young people.

He also supported HIV and sexual health charity the Terrence Higgins Trust and Macmillan Cancer Support.

Michael, who spoke about losing his partner Anselmo Feleppa to HIV, “personally supported” the Terrence Higgins Trust, a British HIV charity, for “many years”.

Jane Barron from the ‘Trust’ said Michael gave the royalties of his ‘Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me’ duet with Elton John in 1991.

Another social media user joined the millions paying tribute and claimed to have volunteered with the musician at a homeless shelter.

While a journalist revealed Michael once gave a barmaid a £5,000 tip after learning she was a student nurse with large debts.

George Michael

WORKING ON NEW DOCUMENTARY

In September 2010 Michael received an eight-week prison sentence following an incident the previous July in which he crashed his Range Rover into a shop in north London.

He was also given a five-year driving ban after he pleaded guilty to driving under the influence of drugs and possessing cannabis.

In 2011, he officially announced the ending of a turbulent 15-year relationship with Goss — though he said that the pair had actually split around two years earlier.

In an attempt to relaunch his musical career, Michael performed a song from his new album during the closing ceremony at the London 2012 Olympic Games.

He was set to release a documentary in 2017.

The movie, with the working title ‘Freedom’: George Michael, was to be narrated by Michael and set to feature Mark Ronson, Mary J Blige, Tony Bennett, Liam Gallagher, James Corden and Ricky Gervais.

Michael’s 1990 album ‘Listen Without Prejudice Vol. 1’ had been set to be reissued accompanied by the documentary which would also feature Stevie Wonder, Elton John and the supermodels who starred in the video to his hit single Freedom!

R.I.P

George Michael Older

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