George Michael, the iconic singer-songwriter who began topping charts in the 1980s as part the pop duo Wham!, died on Christmas Day heart failure in his home.
Back in 1990, a 27-year-old Michael fered an interview to the Los Angeles Times' Calendar magazine in which he discussed his growing disillusionment with his international fame, as reported by The Mirror. The interview resulted in a written response from none other than legendary singer/actor/Oscar-winner Frank Sinatra, then 74 years old, in a letter published by the newspaper.
"I don't understand a guy who lives 'in hopes reducing the strain his celebrity status,'" Sinatra wrote. "And now that he's a smash songwriter at 27 he wants to quit doing what tons gifted youngsters all over the world would shoot grandma for — just one crack at what he's complaining about."
Sinatra, who himself became famous in his 20s when he joined Tommy Dorsey's chart-topping band in the 1940s before striking f on his own and cementing himself as a legendary figure in entertainment, also fered the young Michael a bit advice.
"Come on, George. Loosen up. Swing, man," the veteran singer wrote. "Talent must not be wasted. Those who have it — and you obviously do or today's Calendar cover would have been about Rudy Vallee — those who have talent must hug it, embrace it, nurture it and share it . . . Trust me. I've been there."
This article originally appeared in THR.com.