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Crowds pay tribute to George Michael at his Highgate home

By Amy Smith

A growing display of floral tributes and handwritten cards have taken over pop icon George Michael's home in Highgate Village following his sudden and tragic death on Christmas Day, aged just 53.

Michael - real name Georgios Kyriacos Panayiotou - started out as a young busker from East Finchley and went on to sell more than 100 million albums and enjoyed seven UK number one singles in a career spanning almost four decades. His numerous hits include 'Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go', 'Careless Whisper', 'Club Tropicana', 'Last Christmas' with his band Wham! and great success as a solo artist with stand out tracks like 'Faith', 'Father Figure', 'Fast Love' and 'Outside'.

People stood in silence outside his home last night - some couldn't help but quietly weep - as they read the many tributes laid carefully on the pavement, pinned to the hedge and covering the bonnet of a parked range rover.

Nigel travelled from Dunstable to lay a candle and card at the growing shrine:

'His music has been a soundtrack to my life, slow dancing to girlfriends, breaking up with a girl and having 'Careless Whisper' on in my first car, he would just be there all the time. And as he changed so did I. Everything I was doing, his music was on in the background, getting married, having kids. When I pass away there will be two songs played, 'Fast Love', my favourite, and 'Careless Whisper'. I'm having them two at my funeral. He's going to be playing even when I'm gone. That's how much his music has meant to me. One thing it's taught me is you can't muck about. You've got to 'Choose Life'.'


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A number of the bouquets were from the Greek Cypriot community and a large Cypriot flag has been pinned to the hedge. Freddie felt compelled to visit the growing shrine and leave flowers.  

'I have a similar background, I'm from North London and also Greek Cypriot so we have that connection but he transcended backgrounds, male, female, gay, straight. He was a pure talent. I've been playing his songs non-stop since I heard the news, everything from the Wham! days to his most recent stuff. The music world is a lesser place now and it feels like a significant piece of my past just disappearing.'


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Brigitaine had tears streaming down her face as she lay a bouquet and card on the pavement:

'I grew up in Canada and America and I moved to London because that's where George Michael is from. I think that as a young girl I fell in love with George, as many of us did, and when he came out I don't think any of us were surprised. He was the first of many gay men I have loved and I'm a very proud gay rights advocate because of him. He was very political in the right ways. It feels like a real blow. We've lost every musical hero I've ever had this year. The loss feels just tremendous.' 


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2016 is also the year the music world lost a number of truly great artists, most notably: David Bowie, Prince and Leonard Cohen

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