In an unaired interview for the upcoming Netflix documentary “Wham!”, George Michael revealed that the turning point of Wham!, the band he formed with his childhood friend Andrew Ridgeley, was tied to him being secretly gay. According to the late singer, it was him realizing that he was a massive star and gay, which led to depression and feeling boxed in. The documentary traces Michael and Ridgeley’s meeting in school and forming a musical duo, which became the first Western pop act to play in China and achieved global success with multiple number one hits. They played their last gig at Wembley Stadium in June 1986.
Michael realized he was gay or at least bisexual at the age of 19 and wanted to come out early in his career but lost his nerve. He admitted that he didn’t realize how much he would sacrifice by staying in the closet. As Wham!’s success continued, he felt more and more trapped and realized that he should not be trying to catch up with Michael Jackson or Madonna, which was what he was absolutely intent on doing.
He went on to have a hugely successful solo career and finally came out to his parents after his true love, Brazilian dress designer and stylist Anselmo Feleppa, died of AIDS in 1993. Unfortunately, his father did not take the news so well. In his later years, the Grammy winner repeatedly fell for porn stars and developed a serious drug problem. Michael died on Christmas Day 2016 at the age of 53 from liver disease and heart failure.
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