How George Michael Became A Music Icon

Pop icon George Michael passed away on Christmas, but he left behind a legacy of hit-making. His name will always be associated with the singles he released as a member of Wham! and as a solo artist. From “Last Christmas” to “Careless Whisper,” George Michael made his mark on pop music.

Here’s how musicians can follow in his footsteps and create their own legacy.

1. It’s okay to be distant from the material.

Most musicians rely on an incredible amount of emotion to fuel their music rather than approaching their music from a calculated stance. “Careless Whisper,” which is arguably Michael’s biggest hit, was about a breakup, but it did not come out of personal experience.

George Michael did not have to suffer in life to gain a chart-topping single. Musicians can use their imagination as well as personal experience to make great music.

2. First impressions are a big deal.

George Michael ironically had two chances at making a first impression to music fans. He burst onto the pop scene initially with Wham!, but he had an opportunity to reintroduce himself to fans with his first solo work Faith.

Faith ended up selling over twenty million copies worldwide. Artists need to put their best foot forward rather than holding on to material and waiting to release it at the right time.

3. Realize that the radio still matters.

Although online avenues like YouTube and Instagram are essential to the success of the modern artist, the power of radio should not be underestimated.

So many listeners still get most of their music from the radio, and George Michael is a big beneficiary of that. He was named the most played artist on British radio from 1984-2004. That certainly didn’t hurt his sales.

George Michael left his imprint on pop, then he left the world. Along with his music, he left a blueprint for future pop artists to follow. He used both YouTube and the radio to his advantage. George Michael understood the importance of first impressions and reinvention.

Interested in getting your YouTube video discovered by masses of targeted fans? Click this link:

Will Randick is a blogger and educator working out of the Bay Area.

Leave a Comment