George Michael's Longing to Live Openly as Gay Man Caused His Band Wham! to Split

The late 'Last Christmas' singer admitted he was torn between furthering his singing career to match that of Michael Jackson and publicly come out of the closet as gay.

AceShowbiz - George Michael says the break-up of Wham! was caused by his desire to come out of the closet. The "Last Christmas" singer, who passed away aged 53 on Christmas Day 2016, discovered he was gay or at the very least bisexual aged 19, but said he was left feeling "trapped" when he didn't publicly come out while his band with Andrew Ridgeley, 60, became one of the world's biggest acts.

"In reality, the turning point of Wham! was nothing to do with Wham! The turning point of Wham! was me as I suddenly thought, 'Oh my God, I'm a massive star and I'm gay,' and the depression was about that, about the way I'd boxed myself in," George says in an unaired interview in the upcoming Netflix documentary "Wham!".

The documentary tells how George and childhood friend Andrew met in school and bonding over music before deciding to form their musical duo in 1981. They duo became the first Western pop act to play in China, had a string of No1 hits and achieved global success, but they played their last gig at Wembley Stadium in June 1986.

George added about the moment he realised he was gay or bisexual, "I had stayed over at this guy's house. He'd tried to have sex with me but I'd been too scared, but I realised I wanted to stay in the bed for the night. I realised I wanted to be close to this guy, which had never happened before."

George confided in Andrew about his sexuality, saying in the documentary, "That is a pivotal moment. At that point in time, I really did want to come out, and then I lost my nerve completely.

"I had this little voice inside going, 'What am I going to do?' " he recalled. "I was intelligent enough to know that this was the wrong road if I was looking for happiness. I should not be trying to catch up with Michael Jackson or Madonna, which is what I was absolutely intent on doing. I wanted to be able to develop as a human being but I felt trapped."

After Wham!, George had a massively successful solo career and eventually came out to his parents after his Brazilian dress designer and stylist lover Anselmo Feleppa died from AIDS in 1993. The singer died aged of 53 from liver disease and heart failure, and "Wham!" is set to air on July 5.

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