By: Renee Grant
The year 2016 saw us lose so many of our favorite icons in music, movies and television. On Christmas Day last year, we lost one of the most popular singers of our time, the incomparable George Michael. While his passing was a huge shock, and seemingly out of the blue, his death has created a huge resurgence in the sales of his albums.
OfficialCharts.com reports that over half a million records by Michael have been sold and streamed in the month since his passing.
Michael gained his following from his beginning days as a member of the pop group Wham!, giving us such wildly popular hits as Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go, Everything She Wants, Careless Whisper, and many others. After the release of Careless Whisper, Michael’s solo career began and we got his debut album Faith in 1987, which was one of the most popular albums of the decade, receiving a Grammy for album of the Year in 1989.
Since his passing, his most popular single to have been streamed or sold was Last Christmas, most likely due to the date of his passing.
- Across all George Michael’s work, just over 421,000 singles were sold across physical, digital and streaming equivalent sales, made up of 153,000 sales and 26.8 million track streams.
- Last Christmas was his most popular track (46,000 combined chart sales), followed by Careless Whisper (33,500).
- In the week following his death, George’s timeless festive classic with Wham! Last Christmas returned to the Top 10 at 7 for the first time since its 1984 release, where it famously peaked at Number 2.
- His first solo offering Careless Whisper also hit the Top 100 for the first time in 32 years, re-entering at 44.
- An old re-issue of George’s 1987 smash Freedom also returned to the top of the Official Vinyl Singles Chart, logging two weeks at Number 1.
- In the days after his death, it was Michael’s 1998 retrospective Ladies & Gentlemen that proved the most popular release on the Official Albums Chart, returning to the Top 10 at Number 4.
- His more recent 2006 hits album Twenty Five later reached a high of Number 19. His Wham! Compilation, The Final, has so far re-entered at 21.
- A combined total of 147,500 George Michael/Wham! albums have been sold and streamed in the month since Michael’s passing, with fans particularly seeking out the star’s physical records
- CD and vinyl sales account for 54% of all purchases from his album catalogue in the past month.
Have you bought or streamed any George Michael’s music in the past month?