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.
A woman on 'Deal Or No Deal' told us she needed £15k for IVF treatment. George Michael secretly phoned the next day and gave her the £15k.
— Richard Osman (@richardosman) December 26, 2016
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.”
— Ben Greenman (@bengreenman) December 26, 2016