From his wealth to being a gay icon: The famously frank George Michael in his own words

George Michael performing at Wembley Stadium in London, as the pop superstar has died at the age of 53 from suspected heart failure. (Photo: PA)
George Michael performing at Wembley Stadium in London, as the pop superstar has died at the age of 53 from suspected heart failure. (Photo: PA)
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George Michael shrank from the public eye at the latter stages of his career, but the inspirational songwriter will be remembered for his honest and open interviews.

Here are some of his most famous quotes:

"Fame after Wham! drove me close to lunacy" - Reflecting on his career in 2014.

"I have a really serious problem with the fact that when I brought myself down, I felt I was letting young gay kids down. My behaviour meant these kids suffered abuse and the homophobic language that is legal in this country" - On the damage he fears his public disgraces have caused, 2011.

"I felt very re-energised after my recent troubles" - George Michael, who spent a month in prison in 2010 for drug-driving.

"I always receive more support abroad. It's a shame, but let's be honest, after almost 30 years I count myself lucky to get any support anywhere" - Disappointed that the BBC did not use his royal wedding anthem, although it was played during Norwegian television coverage of the wedding between William and Kate in 2011.

"I couldn't be involved in the cruel part" - Why he did not want to be an X Factor judge, 2011.

"I really don't think so. I've run out of ideas" - Promising there would be no further scandals on his forthcoming visit to the United States, 2008.

"I finally realised that one reason why my life has felt so self-destructive is that I never had any feeling that my talent would let me down" - Typically honest, in 2007

"It helps if you have a beard as it covers a multitude of sins. It really does" - On his vanity, in 2004.

"It's about time I made a record for the boys, isn't it? I think there will be people dancing around their handbags to this one" - Describing his 2004 track Flawless, which he dedicated to homosexuals.

"The most horrific thing that happened was that I was photographed with my shirt off and I was fat. Can you imagine two worse things than being fat and gay?" - Discussing, in 2004, events after his arrest in a US public lavatory six years previously.

"As you become older, you become more selective. Most celebrities bore me to tears" - On celebrity culture and ageing, in 2004.

"Close up, my face is starting to resemble an Ordnance Survey map" - Self-deprecating in 1998.

"As some of you may know I have been over busy of late" - Apologising for the brevity of his 35-minute set at The Symphony of Hope show for Aids charities in 1993, having made several recent court appearances as part of his legal battle with recording company, Sony.

"I'm not too grand to sit around a table with the marketing people but I pay a manager to do that. You don't get respect that way" - On the music industry in 1993.

"Extraordinarily wealthy ... about three houses" - His response, when asked by a High Court judge to assess his assets during the same year.