Legendary singer Frank Sinatra apparently sent a personal letter to George Michael in the early 1990s, urging him to not waste his singing talent, it has been revealed.
Michael died at the age of 53 at his home in England on Christmas Day, according to his publicist.
But when he was 27 years old in 1990, Michael told the Los Angeles Times’s Calendar magazine that he would be avoiding the limelight after the release of his then-latest album, “Listen Without Prejudice, Vol 1,” saying he wouldn’t do tours, music videos, or very many interviews. Sinatra apparently saw the letter and wasn’t impressed with his answers before he wrote to the LA Times, which published his follow-up letter a week later.
“I don’t understand a guy who lives ‘in hopes of reducing the strain of his celebrity status,'” Sinatra wrote in the letter, which resurfaced online after Michael’s death.
“Here’s a kid who ‘wanted to be a pop star since I was about seven years old,'” he said of Michael.
“And now that he’s a smash performer and songwriter at 27 he wants to quit doing what tons of gifted youngsters all over the world would shoot grandma for—just for one crack at what he’s complaining about,” Sinatra wrote.
— Ben Greenman (@bengreenman) December 26, 2016
“Come on George, Loosen up. Swing, man. Dust off those gossamer wings and fly yourself to the moon of your choice and be grateful to carry the baggage we’ve all had to carry since those lean nights of sleeping on buses and helping the driver unload the instruments,” he noted.
Sinatra then offered him—and the readers—some advice on how talent should be applied.
“Talent must no be wasted,” Sinatra said. “Those who have it—and you obviously do or today’s Calendar cover article would have been about Rudy Vallee—those who have talent must hug it, embrace it, nurture it and share it lest it be taken away from you as fast as it was loaned to you.”
Sinatra, who turned 75 in 1990, added: “The tragedy of fame is when no one shows up and you’re singing to the cleaning lady in some empty joint that hasn’t seen a paying customer since Saint Swithin’s day. And you’re nowhere near that; you’re top dog on the top rung of a tall ladder called Stardom, which in Latin means thanks-to-the-fans who were there when it was lonely.”
Sinatra ended his letter with “Trust me. I’ve been there.”
It’s not clear if Michael ever saw the letter.