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George Michael: A true pop star

There is no denying the legacy - 100 million albums, the songs we'll always play, words we'll always know, but the thing I'll always remember about George Michael on the times I met him, was his incredible vulnerability.

Here was a true pop star, a man adored and worshiped by millions, a master on the stage, and yet face to face with the media certainly in the last decades, there was often a mistrust, the bruising evident from past encounters when we, the media would talk about his troubled private life, the drugs, the brushes with the law.

On one of the last occasions, backstage in Birmingham, he answered my questions businesslike, slightly distant and then minutes later walked out on stage, and became the all conquering George Michael, the audience in the palm of his hand, a man totally at home on a big stage, all vulnerability gone. I'll admit I just wanted to give him a hug, wanted to be his friend, he had that effect on you.

Then there was that time he gave an impromptu news conference in front of his home telling us about he illness that had nearly killed him, leaving him with weeks to live.

A tribute left outside George Michael's home by a fan Credit: PA

His tears when he talked about the nurses and doctors that saved him, were profoundly moving, this was George Michael raw, open, meaning every word.

Then he gave that special concert in 2007 to which he invited NHS nurses to come for free as a way to say thank you for caring for the mother he lost to cancer, certainly one of those nurses told me she she'll never forget that event, the act of kindness, the personal gesture on a public platform.

George Michael felt things deeply, it's why he was such a wonderful songwriter.

Troubled yes, but gentle, a genius on the stage, influential, adored, the soundtrack to so many of our lives.

I was a fan, who wasn't? I can't believe it. Who can?

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