As another year comes to a close and we review the past year I want to say something about how hard a year it was for me and I am sure many of you. As a child of the eighties, 2016 was an unusually cruel year too many icons I grew up with.
There are so many that passed away this year. They were the fabric of growing up pants, they created the soundtrack to the story of my life. They were not just famous individuals, these were superstars to me, invincible like and bigger than life. Prince, David Bowie, Glen Grey, Gene Wilder and Muhammed Ali just to name a few. These last two especially hit home for me though...
While I was growing up this phenomenon known as Star Wars was released. I was awed by Star Wars and its successors; The Empire Strikes back and Return of the Jedi. These were by far the greatest movies ever made and I lived just to see them. When The Empire Strikes Strikes back came out my father worked in the local movie theater and instead of hiring a babysitter he let me go watch the whatever movie was playing. I saw Empire at least 13 times during that run, maybe more. Carrie Fisher while also known for other acting roles and as an author and screenwriter was most famous for playing Princess Leia. Leia was such an iconic role, even in a fantasy piece. She was the damsel in distress that ended up saving everyone else, she could hang and fight with the boys, she became a General, she was a rock and a leader when everything was going south and she was in tune with the Force. Fisher played her with the strength and grace of true royalty.
George Michael was an incredible voice. I grew up surrounded by and in love with music. While I gravitated towards harder rock as a pre-teen I had an affinity for catchy pop songs from listening to 70's radio. Wham! had incredibly catchy songs, and the voice was George Michael. My first slow dance at a school dance was to Careless Whisper, I must have listened to that song over and over every night for a month after that. I was convinced I would marry that girl. When he went solo, George Michael had amazing success with Faith. He proved not only to be an amazing performer but also a prolific songwriter. His Listen Without Prejudice album I liked even more than the Faith album because it felt so personal, yet relatable. It really is a beautiful piece of work and you should give it a listen.
My heart aches at the passing of these artists, for they produced beautiful moments that they shared with the world and allowed strangers to connect over. It also makes me want to create something, something that will bring people together to share like emotions and memories, just like they did. Thank you to both of you for shaping my life and inspiring me to leave something wonderful like you both did on multiple occasions.