George Michael‘s former partner Kenny Goss has penned a blog in tribute to the late musician, describing him as “not a perfect man, but a warm and generous one”.
The singer passed away on Christmas Day 2016 due to natural causes. His body was interred at Highgate Cemetery on March 29, 2017. Goss and Michael were together for 13 years, and Goss was one of a few guests to attend the private funeral.
Writing on The Huffington Post, Goss said Michael’s “generous spirit and boundless compassion” were what first “drew” him to the star.
He continued: “Though our romantic relationship had ended, I am privileged to be able to say he remained one of my closest and dearest friends until the day he passed away. I can now only hope to make him proud through continuing the incredible work of the Goss-Michael Foundation that we devoted so much time to together.”
The pair set up the Goss-Michael Foundation, “one of the leading contemporary British art collections in the United States” according to the official website, in 2007. Goss said they knew when setting it up they wanted to “make a difference and fight for causes we really believed in”. “George always described himself as a “lucky bastard”, and he saw this as his way to give back,” he added. “He easily gave away more than £10million and that’s only the stuff I know about and it was almost always anonymously.”
Michael’s ex said that through the foundation they had supported causes such as hunger relief and HIV prevention, while he is now aiming to provide help with mental health and addiction.
“When you have first hand experience living with an addict, and when you have struggled with addiction personally, it only seems right to share your story in the hope of helping others,” he wrote. “I can now do this in George’s memory. I take solace in knowing that speaking openly might serve as a source of strength for others, and I am confident that George would feel the same way.
“George and I communicated regularly in the months before he died – he’d ask me about my recovery, and about the Foundation. I don’t like to speculate about what would have happened if we had stayed together. Perhaps we’d have helped one another. Or maybe we’d just have made things worse.”
Goss continued to discuss the “hurdles” needed to be overcome to help addicts, saying the perception of addiction as a choice needed to change. “Addiction isn’t straightforward,” he said. “Neither is mental health. Recovery isn’t a formulaic process. It is highly personal. I would like to help people access the support they need, and lead them towards taking the right steps on their road to a new life.”
The post concluded: “George is now back with his beloved mother. He will obviously be remembered for his unbelievable talent for years to come, but I want to make sure his legacy extends beyond his music, because he had so much more to offer. Rest in peace darling.”