Date of birth
25th June, 1963
George Michael (born Georgios Kyriacos Panayiotou, 25.6.1963) George Michael is an English pop singer / songwriter who first rose to fame in the 1980s as one half of the pop duo Wham!
Childhood: George Michael's father, Kyriacos Panayiotou (a Greek Cypriot) moved to England in the 1950s and changed his name to Jack Panos. His mother was Lesley Angold Harrison. George was born and raised in North London.
Career: Wham! formed in 1981 and propelled George Michael and Andrew Ridgeley to chart success. The duo's debut album, Fantastic went to number one in the UK. Singles such as 'Wham Rap! (Enjoy What You Do?)', 'Bad Boys' and 'Club Tropicana' all became massive hits
The band's second album, Make It Big did just that and sold 6 million copies in the US. George sang on Band Aid's 'Do They Know It's Christmas' and the band donated the proceeds from sales of 'Last Christmas / Everything She Wants' to the charity. In 1985, George Michael also sang on Elton John's singles 'Nikita' and 'Wrap Her Up'.
Wham! split in 1986 after releasing a farewell single for their fans, entitled 'Edge of Heaven'.
Solo Career: In 1984, 'Careless Whisper' (taken from a Wham! Album) was released as a solo single for George. This was followed in 1986 with 'A Different Corner', which won George Michael a Grammy Award. In 1987, George recorded a duet with Aretha Franklin. 'I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me)' reached number one in the UK and US singles charts.
Faith was George Michael's first solo album release, which hit the stores in 1987. 'I Want Your Sex' was the debut single from the album and was banned from a number of stores for its highly sexualized lyrics. The track was featured on the soundtrack to Beverley Hills Cop II. Regardless of censorship efforts, the track charted at number two in the US and three in the UK. The title track from the album was released as the second single and was a huge success, reaching number one in the US and two in the UK. Faith has been awarded a Diamond certification and has sold over 20 million across the globe.
Listen Without Prejudice Vol.1 was released in 1990. George Michael refused to take part in any promotional activities for the album and as a result, no videos were made for the singles from this album. Despite this, 'Praying For Time' still reached number six in the UK and was a number one hit in the United States. The album was denied a number one position in the States but in the UK, he reached the lucrative top spot. In 1992, the album was certified four times platinum and has sold over eight million copies worldwide. The single 'Freedom 90' was supported by a music video but George refused to appear in it. Instead, he drafted in a group of supermodels, including Naomi Campbell, Cindy Crawford and Linda Evangelista to appear in the video and mime the words to the song.
At the end of 1991, George Michael's duet with Elton John on Elton's 'Don't Let The Sun Go Down On Me' was released and became a huge success and was the only modern number one single to have been recorded at an outdoor venue (Wembley Arena).
George Michael's intended third album, Listen Without Prejudice Vol. 2 became the victim of a feud between Michael and his record label, Sony. Michael scrapped the album and the single 'Too Funky' was the final release for Sony before George became embroiled in lengthy proceedings to release himself from his contract.
After a brief break from music, George released the single 'Jesus to a Child' in 1994, the song was a tribute to his lover, Anselmo Feleppa, who had died the previous year. The single went straight to number one in the UK and seven in the US. Its follow-up, 'Fastlove' was also a UK number one. The accompanying album, Older, was Michael's first in six years.
George Michael's greatest hits package, Ladies & Gentlemen: The Best of George Michael was released in 1998. Songs from the Last Century was released in 1999 and featured a number of re-workings of songs by the likes of Frank Sinatra and Sting.
Patience, released in 2004 was George Michael's first album of original material in eight years. The lead single 'Shoot The Dog' sparked some controversy for its open criticism of the British and US involvement in the war in Iraq.
George's second greatest hits release, Twentyfive, was released in 2006 and was a number one hit in the UK. The 2-CD set contained some songs from the Wham! era as well as three new songs, including a duet with Mutya Buena of Sugababes and a version of 'Heal the Pain', recorded with Sir Paul McCartney. George undertook a 50-date arena tour to promote the album.
In 2008, George Michael made his acting debut in the comedy-drama 'Eli Stone' with Jonny Lee Miller. He also released a new song called 'December Song', and in 2011 unveiled a cover of New Order's 'True Faith' for Comic Relief. That year he was on the first ever James Corden 'Carpool Karaoke' sketch before the host took it to 'The Late Late Show'.
He released his final album 'Symphonica' in 2014, and announced in 2016 a new documentary on his life entitled 'Freedom'.
Personal Life: In the past, there has been a great deal of speculation surrounding George Michael's sexuality. During his time in Wham! there were a number of tabloid articles which speculated on his relationships with actresses such as Whoopi Goldberg and Brooke Shields. His homosexuality was later made public and George has stated that he hid his sexuality because he was worried about the impact it may have on his mother.
In 1998, George Michael was arrested in Los Angeles, for 'engaging in a lewd act' in a public toilet. He was fined $810 for the incident and was forced to undertake 80 hours of community service. The video for his song 'Outside' was a humourous take on the incident and featured men dressed as policemen kissing in a public toilet. The arresting officer, Rodriguez, took George Michael to court, claiming that the video mocked him and that he had been slandered by Michael in interviews. The case was dismissed by the courts.
In 2006, George Michael was arrested for possession of cannabis. He was then involved in a number of incidents in which he was discovered asleep at the wheel of his car. He has been banned from driving and given a community service order.
In 2008, he was once again arrested for possession of drugs, but the following year insisted he had cut down on his cannabis use. In 2010, he was arrested after crashing his car while under the influence and served four weeks of an eight week prison sentence.
In 2011, he went to hospital with a viral infection and chest pains, and it later emerged that he had suffered a bout of pneumonia. He revealed that he had undergone a tracheotomy while in a coma, and claimed that he awoke with a brief spell of foreign accent syndrome. In 2013, he fell out of his car while driving on a motorway and was taken to hospital.
George Michael died on Christmas day in 2016 and was discovered by his partner of four years Fadi Fawaz. The cause of death was attributed to heart failure.
An album re-release, a new song and a documentary mark the singer's legacy this year.
It has now been a week since we heard the incredible reworking of George Michael's song 'Fantasy' featuring Nile Rodgers on the radio, but that's certainly not the last we'll hear of him as the year approaches the first anniversary of his tragic Christmas Day death.
Sony Music will drop George Michael's first posthumous album 'Listen Without Prejudice Vol.1 / MTV Unplugged' - a re-release of his 1990 second album - this October. The original release won Best British Album at the 1991 BRIT Awards and became his second UK chart-topper, even out-selling his debut solo album 'Faith'.
Continue reading: How The Music Industry Is Honouring George Michael This Year
Emotions are running high with Nile Rodgers' re-working of 'Fantasy'.
A previously unreleased track by George Michael premiered on the radio this morning, and fans were left extremely emotional by it despite the fact that it's a thoroughly upbeat dance number. 'Fantasy' featuring Nile Rodgers is a reworked song that was originally written over 25 years ago.
'Fantasy' hit the radiowaves this morning (September 7th 2017) on 'The Chris Evans Breakfast Show' on BBC Radio 2 courtesy of Sony Music, and the majority of listeners are absolutely hypnotised by it even if some think it sounds a little unfinished. Hearing George's voice again, however, has been an emotional ride for a lot of his die-hard fans.
Continue reading: 'Fantasy' By The Late George Michael And Nile Rodgers Has Fans In Tears
A previously unreleased George Michael track is being debuted on Chris Evans' Radio 2 breakfast show on Thursday (Sep 7th).
A previously unheard track from the late George Michael will make its world premiere on BBC Radio 2 this week, it has been confirmed.
Chris Evans’ breakfast show will give the unreleased track its first ever radio play on Thursday morning (September 7th) at 9:00am, a press representative has confirmed, but no other details about the song, such as its title, are known.
The Wham! lead singer and solo star in his own right passed away suddenly on Christmas Day 2016 at the age of 53. He had been reportedly planning to release a new album in 2017, his most recent being 2014’s Symphonica, and there are rumours that there are as many as three albums’ worth of material in his vaults.
Continue reading: Unreleased George Michael Song To Premiere On Thursday Morning
Paul McCartney has worked with some of the world's most talented acts.
Paul McCartney may be one of the greatest musicians on the planet as a solo artist, but whenever he gets together with another trailblazer, magic happens. From Michael Jackson to Kanye West, he has worked with so many greats - and it's likely there will be many more.
Here are our ten favourite Paul McCartney duets:
The plot where the late Wham! singer is buried is screened off from the public and inaccessible on guided tours of Highgate Cemetery.
Grieving fans hoping to see the final resting place of George Michael will be disappointed, following news that Highgate Cemetery has banned members of the public from visiting his grave.
The former Wham! singer and solo star, who passed away at the age of 53 on Christmas Day last year, was finally laid to rest on Wednesday this week (March 29th) after his family and friends were forced to endure months of waiting while a toxicology test was finalised.
Michael was buried in north London’s Highgate Cemetery, near his mother Lesley, after a “small, private” funeral held by his immediate family and friends.
Continue reading: Fans Unable To Visit George Michael's Grave In Highgate Cemetery
43 year old Fawaz said that he doesn't know on what date the funeral will take place.
George Michael’s boyfriend, Fadi Fawaz, has claimed that he has been frozen out of the funeral arrangements made by the late singer’s family, and doesn’t even know when the service will take place.
In a new interview following the long-awaited coroner’s report that had delayed the funeral by several weeks, Fawaz said that he was being kept out of the loop regarding the arrangement of the ceremony.
“The funeral? I can’t give you an answer, everything is being kept quiet,” he told The Sun on Friday (March 10th). “I can’t tell you about the funeral – it should have happened a long time ago. This has gone on and on. I was in the middle of it all."
Adele performed a slow-downed version of ‘Fastlove’ at Sunday night’s ceremony.
During her performance Adele was forced to restart the song to make sure she got it perfect, telling the audience, "I can't mess this up for him.”
Remembering some of the pop superstar's greatest hits.
We may have lost George Michael far too soon, but his music will no doubt live on for many, many more years to come. Whether they are his solo numbers, his work as part of pop duo Wham! or his duets with the likes of Elton John, these songs will also remain iconic moments in music history.
1. Careless Whisper
Continue reading: In Tribute: Our Favourite George Michael Songs
A report by The Mirror claims that Michael visited the Swiss centre in 2015 in a last-ditch attempt to beat his drug addiction.
The late George Michael reportedly went in secret to a £70,000 per week rehab clinic based around ‘electric shock’ treatment in Switzerland nearly two years ago, in what is said to have been a last-ditch attempt to win his battle with addiction.
An article by The Mirror on Thursday (January 5th) suggested that the singer, who died on December 25th, had undergone treatment back in 2015 at the Kusnacht Practice near Lake Zurich in Switzerland, which treats its patients with electric shock therapy and is said to be the most expensive rehab centre in the world.
At the time he checked in, Michael’s representatives apparently explained away his absence by saying the singer was on an “extensive break”.
Sam Smith has posted a heartfelt message in tribute to George Michael and how he inspired his artistry.
The 'Stay With Me' singer broke his social media silence on Monday (26.12.16) - his first post since June - to pay his respects to the late 'Careless Whisper' hitmaker, who was just 53-years-old when he passed away at his home in Goring-on-Thames, Oxfordshire, South East England on Christmas Day (25.12.16).
Taking to Twitter, he wrote: ''Words can't express how much you and your music meant and means to me. Please play his music as loud as you can today..& celebrate one of the most magical, talented, bravest & important figures in music & life as I know it. Your music & message will live on
Continue reading: Sam Smith Pays Homage To George Michael