Bridget Hustwaite

2016: Remembering Bowie, Prince & Michael

Bridget Hustwaite
2016:  Remembering Bowie, Prince & Michael

Holy mother of god. We are literally DAYS from a brand new year but 2016 just wanted to take one final bite, didn’t it?

Aged 53, UK pop legend George Michael has now joined a heartbreaking list of icons taken by the curse of 2016. He joins the likes of Leonard Cohen, Rick Parfitt, Gene Wilder, Alan Rickman and Muhammad Ali just to name a few, but more striking is the company Michael joins in fellow creatives David Bowie and Prince.

Between the three of them, George Michael, Prince & David Bowie changed the way we not only see pop music, but how we perceive masculinity and sexuality in the modern age. Through their flamboyant approach to music, they forced us to acknowledge and discuss the role of “the man” and how sexuality is discussed in public. They were risk takers, game changers and gave hope to those who did not know how to embrace their sexual orientation or gender.

“If you set your mind free baby, maybe you’d understand” – Prince, Starfish and Coffee (1987)

Physically speaking, both Bowie and Price were not your “typical” male heartthrobs. They were thin, boney and would strut on stage and on camera. They in a sense refused to conform to “masculine” expectations and instead embraced every possible feminine aspect of themselves through fashion and make up.  They celebrated the non-traditional and at the time where homophobia was so widespread, they were true role models for men and women alike.

“I suppose for me as an artist it wasn’t always just about expressing my work; I really wanted, more than anything else, to contribute in some way to the culture I was living in.” – David Bowie, GQ Magazine (2002)

Despite coming out to a small number of people at age 19, George Michael kept his homosexuality secret for years to protect his mother from worrying about Aids, considered a predominant feature of being gay in the 80s. Behind the scenes, Michael initially lacked confidence in himself and his struggles with his sexuality have been deemed relatable to fans also experiencing such issues. 

“You’ll never find peace of mind until you listen to your heart”. – George Michael, Kissing A Fool (1988)

Bowie, Prince and Michael were trail blazers in the world of pop music. All gifted singer songwriters, musicians and producers who sang, danced and looked the way they wanted. RIP to three icons who all captured the true spirit of not only the 80s, but the true spirit of artistry and individuality.