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Deon Estus (1956–2021), bassist for Wham! and George Michael

by Linnea Crowther

Deon Estus was the bassist for Wham! and George Michael (1963–2016) as well as a singer who had a solo hit with 1989’s “Heaven Help Me.”

Musical career

After joining the R&B band Brainstorm, which had minor chart success in the late 1970s, Estus was invited to play bass with Wham! He recorded and toured with the band, including their groundbreaking tour as the first Western pop group to play in China. After the breakup of Wham!, Estus played bass on Michael’s first two solo albums, the Grammy-winning “Faith” and “Listen Without Prejudice Vol. 1.” Estus released a solo record, “Spell,” in 1989, including the hit single “Heaven Help Me,” which reached No. 5 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. Michael co-wrote and sang backing vocals on the single, as well as producing a remix of Estus’ minor single “Me or the Rumours.” Estus also played bass with musicians including Tina Turner, Frank Zappa (1940–1993), Elton John, and Annie Lennox.

Estus’ memories of the “Faith” tour with Michael

“There was a cage onstage that would open up and you would hear the organ play. I still remember the buzz. It was fantastic. Every night, I looked forward to ‘Father Figure.’ Once we got there, we were on fire.” —from a 2016 interview for Billboard

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Tributes to Deon Estus

Full obituary: Billboard

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