As a general rule of thumb, we love list-making and recapping of the year's significant moments and events but the exception is the work of the grim reaper. Death has claimed so many icons recently, particularly from the music world, that 2016 is starting to feel like a parody of its apocalyptic self as we reach its conclusion.
On Christmas day, of all days considering that one of his most enduring hits is "Last Christmas," George Michael was taken from us. Georgios Kyriacos Panayiotou (better known as George Michael) was born in East Finchley London in 1963. By the age of 19 he'd charted his first hit with his friend Andrew Ridgeley (the other half of Wham!) called "Young Guns (Go for It!)". Two years later he was world famous by way of the global smash "Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go." Which is when little Nathaniel first fell in love. But that initial fame wasn't the half of it. In fact the early hits I loved so much only hinted at the artist he'd become. He proved himself one of the great pop singers and composers over and over again. "Listen Without Prejudice Vol. I," released in 1990 is surely his masterpiece (and one of the greatest pop albums ever recorded) but he continued to be brilliant even when record contract troubles and personal problems overshadowed his talent with the public. His career had been quiet for some time but it's worth noting that he made one last significant contribution to pop culture that people don't regularly attribute to him -- he was the first star to sing with James Corden whilst driving around in a car back in 2011 which eventually became the ubiquitous "Carpool Karaoke" series of the here and now.
Given his death this weekend, the lyrics and defiance of one of his very last records "White Light" (recorded in 2012 and inspired by his near death in 2011) are suddenly so much sadder.
There is no white light
and I'm not through
I'm alive I'm alive
and I've got so much more that I want to do.
Was it music or science that saved me?
After the jump 16 favorite songs from his career...