-are-sharing-stories-about-how-generous-george-michael?utm_term=.wwwqXVdMDA&ref=mobile_share#.fqroj9NZRbI've heard many rumors over the years about George Michael's generosity. Nice piece here confirming quite a few of the incidents. Peaceful journeys to a man who by all accounts used his wealth and success to help those in need on a regular basis.
Let's be clear, this is a Hall of FAME and, for better or for worse, few were more famous than this man or achieved greater success at the peak of their career than he. Someone mentioned that it would be a shame for him to be inducted based on the strength or impact of Faith, the album, but isn't that how nominees are selected? Let us remember that artists are inducted on the merits of their performances at the peak of their careers as well as their longevity, and he remained relevant, thought the 80's was probably his peak of popularity, after all, and my, how impactful it was.Don't forget, Faith, the album, was not only at the top of the pop chart, but the R&B chart, and probably the Adult Contemporary chart, as well, something that is still done very rarely by a Caucasian, let alone, European artist. The number of number ones (4, 5,6, depending on the chart and to whom you pose the question) on the album is still by and large, unmatched and those songs still hold up. I haven't heard anything like "Father Figure" before or since....In terms of ability, he wrote lyrics and music for most tracks (all inductees haven't done that), produced all of his records (other inductees don't do that), produced and at least co-directed his own videos (Who does that?), and even designed his own album cover art (most don't do that). He worked hard and I beg to differ with those who think Faith, the album, wasn't monumental. In an era when most artists wanted one single per LP, he made sure any of the tracks on that and his other few, but great, albums would probably be worthy of airplay. No small feat, by the way. In addition, as Mariah Carey said, EVERYONE had that album. If you listened to rap, R&B, rock, pop, you had Faith (and you LOVED it)!!!! Pop artists are often marginalized because some make the argument that their work isn't edgy enough, isn't groundbreaking, isn't controversial, etc. Maybe not, but it is enjoyed by MILLIONS of people and isn't that worth something? For those who don't think he made an impact, think about this:1. He wrote a song around the word "sex" in "I Want Your Sex" at a time when people were so afraid of what doing it could cause that they were afraid to utter the word at all! He, in essence, opened the floodgates- The songs you hear now on the radio would make Howard Stearn blush! 2.He decided to slow down his "Fame Train" in the early 90's and consequently faced global scrutiny and ridicule. Though "Freedom '90" which brilliantly describes his new relationship with stardom and his fan base is one of his most beloved and borrowed singles, , most thought he was crazy and said so. Many years later, Ed Sheeran went "ghost" on social media in an effort to do the same thing and was applauded for being a conscientious artist and human being.3. Yes, he wrote melancholy songs about unrequited love and heartbreak as well as happy songs about the tireless pursuit of many love interests- all carefully crafted to "jump out of the radio", as he would say, but he also wrote songs like "Praying for Time", "Shoot the Dog", "Hand to Mouth", "Spinning the Wheel", and "Cars and Trains",among many others, that deal with horrific truths about who we are and what the implications of that are and could be. Notice, those tracks come from the breadth of his catalog, not just one record. For someone to write from a position of social consciousnesses as early as 17, he shows the sort of greatness I expect from ALL Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees, but I assure you, many don't possess it. 4. He set an example of anonymous philanthropy that is unmatched and wouldn't have even been discovered had he lived. Though induction in The Hall is not contingent upon good deeds, it is nice to think that "whole" people, not just the shiniest and coolest ones, are being considered for the honor.I think he would say he might not ever be inducted because "Shoot the Dog" did not show the US in the best light. Though the song's lyrics were right, almost prophetic, we are a community that is slow to forgive and it might take a while. Even if he lived to be 70, he may not have lived to see his name on the list. Look how long it took them to recognize Janet Jackson.5. Though he lost, he had the guts to sue Sony for the renegotiation of a bad contract he signed when he was a young unknown and brought the inequities in the treatment of musicians versus other authors, sports figures and visual artists to the fore. As Prince said, "God bless George Michael". 6. In the 80's Mr. Michael was presented some awards in R&B categories at the American Music Awards and even though singles from Faith had enjoyed heavy rotation at R&B stations nationwide, it was he, not the Awards, that bore the brunt of criticism for giving those awards to a white person. Today, Amy Winehouse(RIP), Adele, and Sam Smith enjoy a diverse audience and even win awards at BLACK Award Shows, not just black categories at the "majority" shows. No doubt, part of his legacy.Induction seems long overdue to me.... 781b155fdc