This was the first year Michael’s name could be included on the ballot.
To be eligible, a performer needs to have released their first recording 25 years prior.
He won the fan vote ahead of second-place winner Cyndi Lauper. The official event will be held on November 3.
The late British musician’s family expressed their gratitude via his official Instagram page.
“We are incredibly proud to learn that George will be officially inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame later this year – he would have been honoured to be included in such esteemed company.”
Beginning his career in 1981 with his friend Andrew Ridgeley, forming the pop duo Wham! With hits Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go, Club Tropicana and Everything She Wants. The duo featured in charts both in the United Kingdom and the United States with their quintessential 80s sound still heard on the radio today.
Michael branched out on more solo projects while still with Wham! Such as the hit track Careless Whisper. With Wham! Disbanding in 1986 he enshrined his reputation as a pop idol with the release of his debut solo album Faith in 1987. The title single of the same name alone reached number one on the US Billboard Hot 100 and number two on the UK Singles Chart.
Michaels came out publicly in 1998 on live television following an arrest by an undercover Policeman in a Beverly Hills park restroom. This act was credited with inspiring future generations of LGBTQIA+ singers and songwriters to be themselves openly and proudly.
Michael passed away on December 25, his death was attributed to natural causes. He lives on through his music.