Photo via insasse/Wikimedia Commons

Streams of George Michael songs jump 3,000 percent after his death

What would he have thought of this swell of attention?


Michelle Jaworski


Published Dec 27, 2016   Updated May 25, 2021, 7:56 am CDT

After George Michael’s surprising death on Christmas Day, fans have turned to his epic music catalog in mourning—and they’re streaming it in droves.

According to Billboard, Spotify is reporting a 3,158 percent increase of Michael’s solo music on its global services on the day after his death. That number is just the jump between Dec. 26 and Dec. 25, and it doesn’t include one of his biggest hits, “Last Christmas” (which likely gets more plays normally around the holidays anyway), or any of the other songs he made with Wham!, the group that put Michael on the map.

However, Wham! songs are included with the top five streamed songs, which are “Last Christmas,” “Faith,” “Careless Whisper,” “Freedom! ’90,” and “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go.”

But it’s not just his music that’s been getting a ton of play this week: In the aftermath of Michael’s death, stories of his generosity are emerging as numerous organizations revealed that Michael secretly donated millions to charity, often telling others that he didn’t want them to be publicly known.

In light of this surge of attention, a 1990 letter that Frank Sinatra wrote in Calendar magazine about Michael (and published by Letters of Note in 2010) is once again circulating online. In it, Sinatra addressed Michael’s previous comments on fame.

“Come on, George,” Sinatra wrote. “Loosen up. Swing, man. Talent must not be wasted. Those who have it—and you obviously do or today’s Calendar cover would have been about Rudy Vallee—those who have talent must hug it, embrace it, nurture it and share it … Trust me. I’ve been there.”

H/T Vulture

Share this article
*First Published: Dec 27, 2016, 11:29 am CST