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Posts Tagged ‘George Michael’

RIP, George Michael (December 25, 2016) British Pop Star

Posted by themusicsover on December 26, 2016

George Michael (Born Georgios Panayiotou)
June 25, 1963 – December 25, 2016

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As one-half of the pop vocal duo, Wham!, George Michael rose to stardom during the mid-’80s. Formed with schoolmate, Andrew Ridgeley in 1981, Wham! released just three studio albums, but that was enough to sell over 25 million copies during their short run of five years.  Born in London, Michael began his musical journey busking Queen songs (and more) on the London Underground.  He also worked as a DJ for neighborhood school parties and at local clubs.  In 1981, he and Ridgeley formed Wham!, who went on to release several worldwide hits, including “Careless Whisper,” “Freedom,” and “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go.”  After parting ways with Ridgeley in 1986, Michael launched an even more successful solo career.  His first “solo” single, “I Knew You Were Waiting,” a duet with Aretha Franklin, debuted at #1 in both the US and UK. He followed that with the album Faith in October of 1987.  The album sold over 25 million copies and was named Album of The Year at the 1989 Grammy Awards.  In all, Michael sold more than 100 million albums during his solo run and won two Grammys along with numerous other accolades.  George Michael was just 53 when passed away in his sleep on December 25, 2016.  Initial reports point to heart failure as the cause of death.

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Died On This Date (August 15, 2012) Bob Birch / Journeyman Bassist; Played With Elton John, Billy Joel, Cher

Posted by themusicsover on August 15, 2012

Bob Birch
July 14, 1956 – August 15, 2012

Photo by Alexander Klink

Bob Birch was a respected bassist who worked both in the studio and on the road with some of pop music’s biggest stars.  Born and raised in Detroit, Michigan, Birch was exposed to the greats at Motown at an early age.  Fist playing the saxophone, Birch won several awards while in school.  He eventually took up the bass and earned a scholarship to Wayne State from which he graduated with a degree in music.  During the early ’80s, he moved to Los Angeles to pursue a career in music.  During his early days in L.A., Birch played on a multi-platinum Jazzercise album.  One of Birch’s first gigs as a touring bassist was for Jose Feliciano.  In 1992, Birch was hired by Elton John and went on to be his primary touring and studio bassist.  The list of artists Birch also performed live or recorded numbers in the dozens if not hundreds.  It includes Billy Joel, Cher, George Michael, Stevie Wonder, Sting, Gregg Allman, Brian Wilson, and Bruce Hornsby.   He also played on such soundtracks as The Scorpion King and The Replacements.  Bob Birch died of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound on August 15, 2012.  He was 56.



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