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Another original and unique voice has been silenced with the death of George Michael. Just in case you have forgotten, this dude was soulful as hell, and once he shook that Wham! teeny bopper image, GM crossed over to the urban world and our radio stations. Don’t believe me? Well, here are five times that George Michael was so soulful we had stop and take notice.

AS w/Mary J. Blige 

Stevie Wonder’s “AS” is one of the most beautiful songs ever written and so it’s only fitting that one of the most beautiful voices of all time took a crack at this classic. Mary J Blige joins George for this version and their back and forth in the later part of the song soars. The song was recorded for Michael’s 2011 album Ladies and Gentleman: The Best of George Michaels. The biggest hit off the album is George’s duet with Aretha Franklin, “I Knew You Were Waiting,” but there is also a sweet samba duet with Astrud Gilberto, and I love what he did with Mary. The album is an overlooked gem, but give this song a listen first.

 

Father Figure 

This was a grown man video — sexy models, gospel undertones — and this sultry song confused the hell out of me (because George was at his fake heterosexual height, and it worked). The video tells the story of an affair between a cab driver and a high-fashion model. Tania Coleridge, the model in the video, talked to a site about making the video and kissing George.

Getting to know him over those few days, he was clearly gay to me. I think he probably had to dig pretty deep to get through those love scenes. I remember it being quite tricky for him but we got through it. We had to kiss again and again…“take 37.” (laughs) We had to do the scene where he slaps me again and again. I had to say “George, just kiss me properly so we can get out of here!”

She also added this gem about the stress and strain of the video shoot.

It was very exhausting. It was the first time I’d met George. He was sweet, brilliant. For some reason, they asked me if I could use my own wardrobe. The Winnebago that I was using [as a trailer] got robbed one of those nights, during the shoot. That [distinctive] white coat was the only piece that didn’t get stolen, probably because I was wearing it at the time. I remember seeing the Winnebago smashed to bits.

 

If I Told You That w/Whitney Houston

This song was recorded for Whitney’s Greatest Hits Album in 2000 and is also included on the Michael’s video collection TWENTY FIVE. Here’s the takeaway from this: Whitney had one of the most incredible voices ever, and George more than holds his own!

 

Freedom 90!

Play the first few notes of this song in any setting, with any people, and watch every person over 30 in the building jump to their feet. The video is famous for its sexy overtones and the supermodels who replaced Michael in the video. He explained to the LA Times why he opted out of appearing:

“At some point in your career, the situation between yourself and the camera reverses. For a certain number of years, you court it and you need it, but ultimately, it needs you more and it’s a bit like a relationship. The minute that happens, it turns you off … and it does feel like it is taking something from you.”

Honestly, I think it’s George’s absence that makes this video so great. This was at the height of the supermodel craze and when Linda Evangelista pops up in the first frame, looking sexy AF, you can’t turn away. A little known fact is that she was up the night before until 3 a.m. dying her hair blonde for the shoot. All five of the ladies who appear are iconic names, yet it just might be this video that they will always be remembered for. Christy Turlington had this to say to Vanity Fair in 2015:

“Little did I know that to this day, when someone meets me for the first time, they bring up that video. That’s what they remember. So yeah, George was right.”

 

Cindy Crawford reprised her role in the video in one hell of a mashup with actor Zachary Quinto on Lip Sync Battle.

Careless Whisper

This was really the beginning of the George Michael that would become the No. 1 pop star in the world. Sure, he still had a Wham!, teeny bopper vibe in this video, but forget the hairdo, the baggy suit and bad shoes — this song changed the way we looked at Michael. The video is all about a man and his guilt over an affair and was shot in Miami in 1983. Here’s the crazy thing: Michael originally wrote this song when he was just 17 years old.

Model Lisa Stahl played George’s partner in the video and dropped these secrets about the shoot to Q Magazine in 2009.

“While filming, they lost footage of our kissing scene so we had to reshoot it, which I didn’t complain about. I know George has a boyfriend now, but that day, there were no boys on his mind. Then George decided he didn’t like his hair so he flew his sister over from England to cut it and we had to reshoot more scenes. I still have a lock that I kept!

I actually love this live version from 2008

 

Honorable Mention: Flawless

By 2004, George had apparently snapped out of his funk and began to appear in his videos again. I think his album Patience is one of his most overlooked. The video which takes place in a bedroom actually features Michael’s dancing, and it’s not that crazy jitter bug from his Wham! days. BTW, this video was done in one single 4-minute take. No cuts, no edits, just one continuous shot.

Now listen, this is just a snapshot of a great artist’s work. I suggest you use this as a jumping off point for your George Michael listening party. RIP to another great one.

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2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Sherrie

    January 22, 2017 at 5:07 PM

    I agree with you 100%that george micheal was soulfulas hell.Huh! SOulful! But I must say my opinion and that is George will not be seeing heaven unless he asked God to save his soul on his death bed. You know he really had no religion and you have to ask yourself the question ” did he go to heaven?”I am not judging jus starting the facts. Read Leviticus it says man who lays with a man and a woman who lays with a woman is a detest to God. When God the almighty God made man he made him in his own image and when he put adam in the garden adam was a lonely man just like george micheal he was lonely man but God did not give adam a man he gave adam a woman. My thought to this whole thing is God does, not approve of this

    • MARIA H. DEFRAGA

      June 20, 2017 at 11:40 PM

      Sherrie you’re right I pray that George Michael repented before he died and received Jesus Christ as his Savior religion isn’t important but to have a relationship with Jesus Christ is He didn’t come to bring religion but salvation religion is man made Jesus said that each one of us are to be born again that’s a spiritually rebirth and I believe He gives each one of us an opportunity to repent before we die I pray George did that.

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Meet The Flockas! Waka And Tammy Get Their Own Show

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Waka Flocka Flame and his boo thang Tammy Rivera have graduated from Love & Hip Hop Atlanta and have landed their own reality show.

Titled, “Meet The Flockas”, the Mona Scott-Young produced project will focus on the rapper, his wife and her daughter Charlie.Waka had this to say about the show when Bossip asked:

“It’s not a scripted show. This isn’t something from the network. We control all this. It’s about time that the people see some real reality s**t. Thank God for Mona Scott Young. She definitely deserves some credit. Even to get the opportunity to get on the platform. But it’s up to you how to you to be represented to the world.”

(Shaaaaade to LHHATL) Looks like the Flockas are excited to show the world their “real” love. Will you be watching?

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