"Loosen up. Swing, man."
Frank Sinatra had some very Frank Sinatra-like advice for a young George Michael, who had complained about fame in a 1990 interview with the Los Angeles Times' Calendar magazine.
After George Michael's death, reported on Christmas day, people are sharing this open letter from Ol' Blue Eyes. It was printed in the same magazine a week after the interview. At the time, Michael was struggling under the weight of public expectations for his sophomore album, "Listen Without Prejudice Vol. 1."
Under this pressure, then 27-year-old Michael wanted to stay out of the limelight. He only agreed to do three interviews in the US, the LA Times being one of them. He even refused to have his photo taken for the article.
In the interview, Michael addressed criticism that his shying away from the media was a gimmick.
"But I'm also sure that most people find it hard to believe that stardom can make you miserable. After all, everybody wants to be a star. I certainly did, and I worked hard to get it. But I was miserable, and I don't want to feel that way again," he said.
Sinatra certainly knew a thing or two about fame, and its struggles. He announced his retirement in 1971, only to go on after a hiatus and play 1,000 more shows. Sinatra died in 1998 at age 82.
Here's the letter, from the excellent @LettersofNote Twitter account.
George Michael must have taken this advice to heart. While Listen Without Prejudice Vol. 1 indeed didn't sell as many copies as his first solo album, Faith - it performed extremely well in the UK. He persevered despite legal and personal troubles in the '90s, to have a decades-long career.