Monday, 26 December 2016

George Michael: Pop superstar dies at 53

Singer George Michael has died at his home at the age of 53.
The star, who launched his career with Wham! in the 1980s and had huge success as a solo performer, "passed away peacefully" on Christmas Day in Goring, Oxfordshire, his publicist said.
His manager, Michael Lippman, said he had died of heart failure.
Former Wham! bandmate Andrew Ridgeley said he was "heartbroken at the loss of my beloved friend".
Writing on Twitter and referring to Michael by his family nickname of "Yog", he added: "Me, his loved ones, his friends, the world of music, the world at large. 4ever loved. A xx"
On Instagram, Sir Elton John posted a photograph of himself with Michael, writing: "I am in deep shock. I have lost a beloved friend - the kindest, most generous soul and a brilliant artist. My heart goes out to his family and all of his fans."
Michael's family announced news of his death in a statement issued through the singer's publicist.
"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," it said.
"The family would ask that their privacy be respected at this difficult and emotional time. There will be no further comment at this stage."




floral tribute at George Michael's house
Image captionTributes have been left outside the star's home in Goring

South Central Ambulance Service were called to Michael's property at 13:42 GMT. Thames Valley Police also attended and Michael was confirmed dead at the scene.
They added: "At this stage the death is being treated as unexplained but not suspicious. A post-mortem will be undertaken in due course. "
A small heart wreath and a rose are among the tributes left outside the front door of Michael's home, a detached property by the River Thames.

Court battle

Michael, who was born Georgios Kyriacos Panayiotou in north London, sold more than 100 million albums throughout a career spanning almost four decades.
He first found fame with schoolfriend Ridgeley in duo Wham! - reaching number one in the UK singles charts on four occasions. One of the band's most enduring songs Last Christmas, is currently number 16 in the UK singles chart.
The song was originally released in 1984 and is the biggest selling single not to reach number one.
It was kept off the chart's top spot by Band Aid's Do They Know It's Christmas, which actually featured Michael.
Solo albums followed, including the multi-million selling Faith in 1987.
The follow-up Listen Without Prejudice Vol. 1 outsold Faith in the UK but led to Michael losing a court case with record label Sony over his frustration at how the album has been marketed.

From teen idol to long-term stardom

His talents as a singer, songwriter and music producer made George Michael one of the world's biggest-selling artists.
Blessed with good looks and a fine singing voice, his stage presence made him a favourite on the live concert circuit as he matured from teen idol to long term stardom.
But there were times when his battle with drugs and encounters with the police made lurid headlines that threatened to eclipse his musical talents.
As a solo artist, Michael scored a further seven number one singles in the UK with songs including Careless Whisper and Fastlove, collaborated with the likes of Aretha Franklin and Elton John, and won three Brit Awards and two Grammys.
The Grammy organisers said Michael's "extraordinary talent had a profound impact on countless entertainers worldwide, and his creative contributions will live on forever".

Troubled artist

Michael later began facing headlines for reasons other than his music.
After years of refusing to be drawn on speculation about his sexuality, Michael disclosed he was gay in 1998 after being arrested in a public toilet in Beverly Hills, California, for engaging in a lewd act.
The music video for the single that followed, Outside, featured a men's bathroom transformed into a disco and policemen kissing.
In October 2006 he pleaded guilty to driving while unfit through drugs, and in 2008 was cautioned for possession of class A drugs, including crack cocaine.
In September 2010, Michael received an eight-week prison sentence following an incident in which he crashed his Range Rover into a shop in north London. He admitted driving under the influence of drugs and possessing cannabis.
Pop stars from Michael's heyday were joined by contemporary names in paying tribute on Twitter.







ABC's Martin Fry said: "Absolutely devastated to hear of the loss of @GeorgeMichael Truly brilliant talent #sad #sad #sad."




Martin Fry tweetImage copyrightTWITTER

Duran Duran referred to the the so-called curse of 2016 - following the deaths of David Bowie, Prince and Rick Parfitt - posting on their official Twitter account: "2016 - loss of another talented soul. All our love and sympathy to @GeorgeMichael's family."
The band included a picture of Michael with its frontman Simon Le Bon, Sting and Bob Geldof.



Duran Duran tweetImage copyrightTWITTER

Madonna posted a video from 1989 on Twitter and Instagram of herself presenting Michael with an award, and wrote: "Another Great Artist leaves us".
Robbie Williams, whose first solo single was a cover of Michael's song Freedom, wrote: "Oh God no …I love you George …Rest In Peace x".
DJ Tony Blackburn said: "Unbelievable, George Michael has died at the age of 53. RIP.This dreadful year goes on and on. So sad, a real talent."
Boy George wrote: "He was so loved and I hope he knew it because the sadness today is beyond words. Devastating.
"What a beautiful voice he had and his music will live on as a testament to his talent. I can't believe he is gone. I hope the Buddha will hold him in his arms."

George Michael's UK number one singles



George Michael, Andrew Ridgeley
Image captionGeorge Michael and Andrew Ridgeley found fame with Wham! in the 1980s

  • Wake Me Up Before You Go Go (with Wham!) - 1984
  • Freedom (with Wham!) - 1984
  • Careless Whisper - 1984
  • I'm Your Man (with Wham!) - 1985
  • The Edge of Heaven (with Wham!) - 1986
  • A Different Corner - 1986
  • I Knew You Were Waiting For Me (with Aretha Franklin) - 1987
  • Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me (with Elton John) - 1991
  • Five Live EP (with Queen and Lisa Stansfield) - 1993
  • Jesus To A Child - 1996
  • Fastlove - 1996

In 2011, Michael postponed a series of concerts after being taken to hospital for treatment for pneumonia.
After 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.
The experience inspired the single White Light which was his last Top 40 hit in 2012 and which he performed at the closing ceremony of the 2012 Olympics in London.
Michael had also recently been working on a documentary chronicling his rise to fame with Wham! and made a direct appeal on Twitter to his fans, asking them to send in their own videos and photographs dating from 1988 to 1996.
The documentary film entitled Freedom was originally expected to be released this year but was recently delayed until next March.
Source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news


Sunday, 5 June 2016

Muhammad Ali Has Died at 74

Muhammad Ali has died at the age of 74, The New York Times reports. The news was confirmed by Bob Gunnell, a spokesman for the Ali family.

Muhammad Ali has been hospitalized with a respiratory issue, CNN reports. The boxing legend and social activist "is being treated by his team of doctors and is in fair condition," Ali family spokesman Bob Gunnell said in a statement. "A brief hospital stay is expected. At this time, the Muhammad Ali family respectfully requests privacy."

That statement—datelined from Phoenix, Arizona—did not offer much further information on Ali's condition, but ESPN cites AP sources who claim it is more serious than during previous hospital stays in recent years. Ali suffers from Parkinson's disease, and has checked into hospitals for a severe urinary tract infection and pneumonia since 2014.

Ali is a three-time heavyweight champion, an Olympic Gold Medalist, and a lifetime activist for religious freedom and social justice.

Friday, 22 April 2016

Prince, singer and superstar, dies aged 57

The hugely popular, acclaimed and influential musician Prince has died at his home in Minnesota at the age of 57.
Police were summoned to his Paisley Park estate early on Thursday and found his body in a lift. An investigation has been opened.
Prince became a global superstar in the 1980s, with albums such as 1999, Purple Rain and Sign O' the Times.
No cause of death has been stated. A post-mortem investigation will take place on Friday.
His innovative music spanned rock, funk and jazz. He sold more than 100 million records during his career.
"It is with profound sadness that I am confirming that the legendary, iconic performer, Prince Rogers Nelson, has died," his spokeswoman said.
In a statement, Carver County Sheriff Jim Olson said his deputies responded to a medical call at about 09:43 local time (14:43 GMT) and later found an unresponsive adult male in an elevator at Paisley Park Studios.
First responders tried to revive him with CPR but he was pronounced dead at 10:07.
Hundreds of fans gathered outside Paisley Park. US President Barack Obama said the world had lost a "creative icon".

'A visionary' - Madonna

Born in 1958, Prince was a prolific writer and performer from a young age - reportedly writing his first song when he was seven.
A singer, songwriter, arranger and multi-instrumentalist, Prince recorded more than 30 albums. His best known hits include Let's Go Crazy and When Doves Cry.

'A joy to watch': By Mark Savage, BBC entertainment reporter




Musician Prince performing at the 2007 Super BowlImage copyrightAFP
Image captionPrince was in his element as a live performer, like here at the 2007 Super Bowl




A musical prodigy from a broken home, Prince famously wrote, arranged, produced and played almost all of his hit records.
But the Purple man's purple patch really came with his first band The Revolution.
With them by his side, he wrote more than two dozen rock classics in a five-year flurry.
Purple Rain, Little Red Corvette, 1999, Raspberry Beret, When Doves Cry, Kiss... At the same time, he dashed off Manic Monday for The Bangles and Nothing Compares 2U, made famous by Sinead O'Connor.
In the studio, he was unstoppable. But the magic really happened on stage. He would vamp, preen and tease an audience into a frenzy, then slay them with a quiet moment of crystalline beauty. He was a joy to watch.

He also wrote music for several artists - Sinead O'Connor's version of Nothing Compares 2U became a worldwide smash in 1990.
In 1984, he won an Oscar for the score to Purple Rain, a film in which he also starred.
Throughout his career he had a reputation for secrecy and eccentricity, once changing his name to an unpronounceable symbol.
In 2004, Prince was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, which said he "rewrote the rulebook".
He had a mercurial relationship with technology. In 2000, he released singles via the pioneering music-sharing service Napster, but he later declared the internet "completely over" and refused to allow his music on major streaming platforms.
Prince's latest album, HITnRUN Phase Two, was released last year and he had been touring as recently as last week.
On 15 April he was taken to hospital after his private plane made an emergency landing in Illinois. It happened just hours after he had performed on stage in Georgia. He was treated and released after a few hours.
Tributes have been pouring in from artists young and old, across the musical spectrum.
  • Madonna, who dated Prince briefly, described him as a "visionary who changed the world"
  • Chic guitarist Nile Rogers said there were "tears and love on our tour bus"
  • Singer Justin Timberlake: "Numb. Stunned. This can't be real"
  • Guitarist Slash said Prince was "one of the greatest musical talents of my lifetime. Maybe of the 20th century"
  • Boy George: "Today is the worst day ever. Prince RIP I am crying!"
  • "I can't believe it, I'm in total shock. So many wonderful memories," wroteLionel Richie
  • Musician and actor Wyclef Jean: "RIP to the King Prince thank u for inspiring me to be a Musician First and using this tool to heal people"
  • Mick Jagger said Prince's talent was "limitless", calling him a "revolutionary artist, a great musician, a wonderful lyricist"
"It's such a blow. It's really surreal. It's just kind of unbelievable," Aretha Franklin told MSNBC. "He was definitely an original and a one of a kind. Truly there was only one Prince."


A tweet from Nasa reads: Image copyright@NASA
A sign at the Apollo Theatre in New York reads: Image copyrightReuters
Image captionThis theatre in New York carried a commemorative message


Sunday, 10 January 2016

David Bowie - The Legend - Dies


David BowieImage copyrightReuters

Bowie's last live performance was in 2006.

David Bowie, the famous singer, has died at the age of 69 after a battle with cancer.
His son confirmed the news and a statement was released on his official social media accounts.
"David Bowie died peacefully today surrounded by his family after a courageous 18-month battle with cancer," it said.
"While many of you will share in this loss, we ask that you respect the family's privacy during their time of grief."
The singer only released his latest album Blackstar on his birthday on Friday.
There had been rumours about Bowie's health for years.
His last live performance was at a New York charity concert in 2006.
Blackstar, which includes just seven songs, has been well received by critics.
Bowie's breakthrough came with 1972's The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars.
His hits include Let's Dance, Space Oddity, Heroes, Under Pressure, Rebel, Rebel, Life on Mars and Suffragette City.
Source: www.bbc.co.uk/news