But the legacy of the pop icon, who sold well over 100 million albums in the span of his career, extends far beyond his music. “George was probably the first gay pop star in the modern era, who was totally unabashed about gay sexuality,” Martin Aston, a music journalist and author of ” Breaking Down the Walls of Heartache: How Music Came Out ,” told NBC Out. Play George Michael, Pop Superstar and Music Legend, Dies at 53 2:01 autoplay autoplay Copy this code to your website or blog Even though Michael was forced out of the closet, once he was out, Aston noted, “he took a great leap forward” and “came out guns blazing.” Infamous Outing Michael’s moment of liberation followed what seemed at first to be a time of deep humiliation. He was blessed with sensual good looks and an exquisite voice, attributes he used to become first a teenybopper heartthrob and then a mature solo artist with videos that played up his considerable appeal. He kept Going Here his own sexual orientation private, until he was arrested in 1998 for lewd conduct in a public toilet in Los Angeles after being spotted by a male undercover police officer. In an earlier era, that might have doomed his career. Instead of retreating, however, Michael made a single and video “Outside” that ridiculed the charges against him Thanking You and mocked the Los Angeles police officers who busted him. The memorable image of the two uniformed policemen kissing in the video both funny and outrageous at the time helped Michael come Enjoyed reading this out as a proud gay man. LGBTQ Legacy Despite his infamous outing, “he never dealt with [his sexuality] in terms of shame,” Aston told NBC Out. “He realized he had to be true to himself, and that had to have helped bust that closet door open.” George Michael performs on stage, Australia, March 1988.
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