“I’ve waited so long, baby/ Now that we’re friends/ Every man’s got his patience/ And here’s where mine ends/ I want your sex,” sang George Michael in his 1987 chart-topping song “I Want Your Sex.”
According to Rolling Stone, these are only a few of the lyrics that forced several U.S. radio stations to prohibit the offensive song. The hit song was one of the first singles to be released from Michael’s debut solo album, Faith. And throughout the decades, he would continue to attract attention with his unusual perspective on sex and sexuality – initially reserved and eventually unrepentant.
The singer of “Careless Whisper” came out as gay in 1998, two years after he began dating Kenny Goss. They separated after 13 years.
Michael died of heart failure and was discovered in his house on Christmas Day, according to his representative’s statements to PEOPLE and Entertainment Weekly. He was 53. Michael’s publicist confirmed the legendary singer’s “peaceful” death.
Here are some of the late singer’s most renowned comments about sex and sexuality, as the world mourns her passing.
- “The media has greatly split love and sex… “I Want Your Sex” is about attaching lust to love, not only to strangers,” Michael told Rolling Stone in response to the song’s controversy, adding that the song was actually an homage to monogamy.
- “I believe that your sexuality cannot be based on anything other than the individuals you fall in love with. Michael told The Advocate in 1999, “When I was younger, I slept with both men and women, but I never fell in love.”
- Michael told CNN in 1998 when he came out as gay, “I have no problem with people knowing that I’m in a relationship with a man right now.” “I have no sense of shame.”
- Michael told The Advocate that he believed he had fallen in love with women “a few of times” and that he had never had a moral problem with being gay. “I too believed I had experienced love with men until I discovered that none of those relationships had been romantic. I understood I was merely attempting to work myself out.”
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- According to the BBC, in a 1996 interview, he stated, “I believe that one of the most difficult things to understand in the present society is that sexuality is a very, very hazy concept.”
- “For some inexplicable reason, out does not make my homosexual life simpler. In fact, the opposite occurred,” he told the BBC in 2014. In the same year, he told PEOPLE he does not regret waiting to come out: “Because it’s about family. During the years when HIV was a lethal disease, parents of openly homosexual children were afraid. I knew my mother well enough to know that she would pray daily that I did not contract the virus. She would have been so concerned.”
- In 1998, Michael released “Outside,” which referenced his detention in a public restroom six months earlier and triggered his coming out. The footage shows him mockingly disguised as an LAPD officer. “Gay people in the media are doing what makes straight people comfortable, and instantly my response is to say I’m a dirty filthy f—er and if you can’t deal with it, you can’t deal with it,” he told The Guardian in 2005.