How did George Michael die, when was his funeral and what tributes were paid to the Wham! singer?


THE world was left reeling when George Michael was found dead at his home in December 2016.

The Wham! superstar passed away on Christmas Day but his funeral did not take place until March 2017. Here’s all you need to know about his passing…

 George Michael died of heart failure on Christmas Day 2016

Getty Images
George Michael died of heart failure on Christmas Day 2016

How did George Michael die?

George Michael, 53, was found dead in bed in his Oxfordshire home on Christmas Day by his boyfriend Fadi Fawaz.

The celebrity hairstylist said: “We were supposed to be going for Christmas lunch. I went round there to wake him up and he was just gone, lying peacefully in bed.

“We don’t know what happened yet. Everything had been very complicated recently, but George was looking forward to Christmas, and so was I.”

The cause of death was confirmed on March 7 by Darren Salter, senior coroner for Oxfordshire.

George Michael died of natural causes and had a dilated cardiomyopathy with myocarditis and fatty liver.

What is dilated cardiomyopathy?

Dilated cardiomyopathy is a disease of the heart muscle, that causes it to become stretched and thin.
It means you’re unable to pump blood around your body properly.
In some cases the condition is inherited, but it can also be triggered by viral infections, uncontrolled high blood pressure and excessive alcohol consumption.
Symptoms include:
– shortness of breath
– swelling of the ankles and tummy
– excessive tiredness
– palpitations

What is myocarditis?

Myocarditis is inflammation of the middle layer of the heart wall.
It can affect the heart muscle and the heart’s electrical system – and can prove fatal.
It’s typically caused by a viral infection, and symptoms include chest pain, fatigue, heart failure and an abnormal heart beat.
If it becomes severe it can weaken the ability of the heart to pump blood.
And blood clots can form, which can result in a heart attack or stroke.
In mild cases, the condition can have no apparent symptoms.
You may just feel ill and a bit under the weather.
But, in serious cases, common signs include:
– chest pain
– rapid or abnormal heart beat
– shortness of breath
– swelling of your legs, ankles and feet
– fatigue
– other signs of the viral infection, including headache, body aches, joint pain and a fever

Previously a series of tweets on Fawaz’s accounts said the star’s death was suicide, but Fawaz later claimed he had been hacked.

The messages said: “The only thing George wanted is to DIE. He tried to kill himself many times…” and “finally he managed”.

What was Fadi Fawaz’s 999 call after he found George Michael?

A dramatic leaked 999 call from Fawaz after he discovered Michael’s body reveals he spent nearly an hour trying to wake the star before phoning for an ambulance.

Fadi, 43, is heard explaining: “I’ve been trying to wake him up for the last hour but it was not possible.

“He’s gone. He’s blue. He’s gone.”

The handler then asks where George’s body is and Fadi replies: “He’s in bed. Dead.

 Fadi Fawaz's 999 call was leaked and revealed he waited an hour to call an ambulance

Darren Fletcher – The Sun
Fadi Fawaz’s 999 call was leaked and revealed he waited an hour to call an ambulance

“He’s cold and he’s blue… yes, he’s very stiff.

“He’s dead… he’s dead.”

Asked by the operator if the singer is “beyond help”, Fadi reveals he has spent an hour trying to revive him.

The operator goes on to ask if George’s death was “expected”.

Fadi replies: “No, no, no, no, no, no, I’ve been waiting for him to wake him up for like, you know, for hours and he wouldn’t wake up, I went to wake him up and he was gone, you know, he’s not there.”

He adds: “It’s George Michael, you know, the singer?”

Fadi then wrongly gives George’s date of birth as July 25 instead of June 25.

The operator tells him the ambulance is on its way and not to move the body in the meantime before she hangs up.

In a statement, the star’s publicist said: “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.

“The family would ask that their privacy be respected at this difficult and emotional time.

“There will be no further comment at this stage.”

When was George Michael’s funeral?

George’s family were forced to put funeral plans on hold as the coroner waited for the results of toxicology tests and so the funeral did not take place until three months after his death.

A service, attended by family and close friends, was held in the tiny, 30-seat chapel at Highgate West Cemetery on March 29.

The service took place amid tight security, with black tarpaulin covering the cemetery’s iron gates.

No hearse was spotted entering the grounds. It’s thought that the singer’s body arrived inside a private ambulance.

Following the service, guests attended a wake at George’s house in Hampstead, which is less than a mile from the cemetery.

 Andrew Ridgeley, his former Wham! bandmate, was seen leaving the funeral

London News Pictures
Andrew Ridgeley, his former Wham! bandmate, was seen leaving the funeral

Family in attendance included George’s 80-year-old feather Kyriacos and sisters Melanie and Panayiota.

Among the guests were former bandmates Andrew Ridgeley, Helen “Pepsi” DeMacque and Shirlie Holliman, as well as Spandau Ballet star Martin Kemp.

Also in attendance was Fadi Fawaz, the singer’s boyfriend, who was expected to be excluded from proceedings.

 Fadi was seen leaving the cemetery on Wednesday afternoon after attending George's funeral

David New
Fadi was seen leaving the cemetery on Wednesday afternoon after attending George’s funeral

Another of George’s lovers, his long-term partner Kenny Goss, joined the mourners at the intimate ceremony.

A statement from Michael’s family read: “We can confirm that the funeral of the singer George Michael took place today. Family and close friends gathered for the small, private ceremony to say goodbye to their beloved son, brother and friend.

“George Michael’s family would like to thank his fans across the world for their many messages of love and support.”

What tributes were paid to George?

When it was announced that George had died, millions flocked to Twitter to share their tributes for the fallen icon, with Elton John and Madonna just two of the celebrities who sent their regards.

Fans also flocked to his homes to lay flowers and letters, and to unite in their grief for the loss of the generation-defining icon.

As well as this, streaming service Spotify marked a staggering three THOUSAND per cent increase in his music being listened to in the days following his death – truly proving that his hits will ensure he lives on with people for a long time to come.

 Tributes were left on his Range Rover outside his Highgate home after his death on Christmas Day

News Group Newspapers Ltd
Tributes were left on his Range Rover outside his Highgate home after his death on Christmas Day

A statement released on behalf of the family said: “The family and close friends of George have been touched beyond words by the incredible outpouring of love for him in the hours and days since his death.

“For someone whose life was ultimately about his music and the love he had for his family and friends, his fans and the world at large, there could be no more fitting tribute than the many, many, kind words that have been said and the numerous plays his records have received.

“Contrary to some reports, there were no suspicious circumstances surrounding his death, and from the bottom of our hearts we thank those who, rightly, have chosen to celebrate his life and legacy at this most distressing of times.”

 Adele perfromed Fast Love at the Grammy awards

Getty Images – Getty
Adele perfromed Fast Love at the Grammy awards

Brit popstar Adele paid an emotional tribute to Michael at the Grammy awards – singing his hit Fast Love.

But mid-way through the track she stopped and asked for it to be re-started.

She said: “I can’t do it again, not after last year, I can’t mess this up for him.

“I’m sorry for swearing, I’m sorry [Grammy producer] Ken [Ehrlich].

“I’m going to start again, I’m sorry, I’m sorry for swearing.”

George’s close friend Geri Horner released her first single in 12 years, a cover of his hit track Angels in Chains, as a tribute to her late pal.

The video, which is shot entirely in black and white, shows Geri singing in the studio interspersed with pictures of her and George in happier times.

Wham! backing vocalists Pepsi and Shirley appeared on This Morning today, August 24, to remember their close friend.

 George's godchildren are inheriting his millions

George’s godchildren are inheriting his millions

Who inherited the Wham! singer’s millions?

After his death, it was revealed that George left an estimated fortune of £105million.

With no husband, children or obvious heirs to the estate, it was believed that the money would be split among his many godchildren.

These include Martin Kemp’s children Roman and Harley, his cousin Andros’ two children, and Geri Halliwell’s daughter Bluebell, whose actual godfather is George’s ex partner Kenny Goss.

It is also expected that his boyfriend Fadi, as well as his sisters Melanie and Yioda could also get a cut from the estate.

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