George Michael retires

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By Salon Staff

Published February 17, 2005 6:47PM (EST)

Yesterday, after premiering a documentary chronicling his checkered career, George Michael unexpectedly announced that he was retiring from pop music, saying that he finds celebrity life "unbearable" and is planning to "disappear." The only thing sillier than the idea of launching a retirement from the public eye with a film premiere and a press conference (would there really have been an international outcry if he had simply  disappeared?) was Michael's announcement, either hubristic or simply clueless, of pop music's demise: "That genre is just dead as far as I'm concerned."

Michael's occasional silliness aside, he will, of course, be missed, particularly in the U.K., where just a few days ago readers of the Sun voted "Careless Whisper" the best British single of the last 25 years (and how awesome is this list, with Kate Bush's "Wuthering Heights" at No. 3?). Elsewhere his disappearance will not be mourned, or perhaps even noticed. As Kanye West said backstage at the Grammys on Sunday, "The nominations for video of the year are crazy. It's no videos you've ever seen before, like George Michael. Did y'all know he had a video?"

Salon Staff

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