George Michael

George Michael

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Biography

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.



Biography by Contactmusic.com

Michael Jackson, Kanye West And Stevie Wonder: Paul McCartney's Top Ten Best Duets


Sir Paul McCartney Michael Jackson Kanye West Stevie Wonder George Michael

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.

Paul McCartney performing at Desert Trip 2016Paul McCartney performing at Desert Trip 2016

Here are our ten favourite Paul McCartney duets:

Continue reading: Michael Jackson, Kanye West And Stevie Wonder: Paul McCartney's Top Ten Best Duets

Fans Unable To Visit George Michael's Grave In Highgate Cemetery


George Michael

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

George Michael Has Reportedly Left His £10 Million Mansion To His Sister


George Michael

George Michael has reportedly left his sister his £10million London mansion and it has been suggested the 55-year-old hairdresser has already moved into the plush property. However, speculation continues to mount over the timing and whereabouts of the Wham! star’s funeral.

George MichaelGeorge Michael has reportedly left his mansion to his sister, Melanie

George's older sister, Melanie Panayiotou is believed to be currently making preparations for the Careless Whisper hitmaker’s "heartfelt and intimate" funeral from the Highgate property which became a makeshift shrine for grieving fans in the weeks after his untimely death.

Continue reading: George Michael Has Reportedly Left His £10 Million Mansion To His Sister

Adele's George Michael Tribute At Grammys Was Originally To Feature Beyonce And Rihanna


Adele George Michael Beyonce Knowles Rihanna

At Sunday night’s Grammy awards Adele paid an emotional tribute to George Michael, performing his 1996 single ‘Fastlove’.

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.”

But originally the awards envisioned a tribute to Michael that would feature other artists, including Beyonce and Rihanna, singing portions of his most famous songs.

Continue reading: Adele's George Michael Tribute At Grammys Was Originally To Feature Beyonce And Rihanna

George Michael's Family Demand Full Investigation Into Alleged 999 Call Leak


George Michael

As a year for celebrity deaths goes, 2016 was a catastrophe with singer George Michael’s passing in December topping off 12 months of mourning for many music fans. Now the former Wham! frontman’s loved ones have been surrounded by more heartbreak after an alleged excerpt from the 999 call after his death was made public.

George MichaelGeorge Michael was found by his partner at home on Christmas Day

The apparent call leaked to the public was made by Michael’s partner, Fadi Fawaz who said he found the singer dead when he arrived at his home in Oxfordshire on Christmas Day to wake him before a Christmas lunch.

Continue reading: George Michael's Family Demand Full Investigation Into Alleged 999 Call Leak

In Tribute: Our Favourite George Michael Songs


George Michael

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.

George MichaelTen incredible George Michael numbers

1. Careless Whisper

Continue reading: In Tribute: Our Favourite George Michael Songs

George Michael Reportedly Checked Into 'Electric Shock' Rehab Centre In 2015


George Michael

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”.

Continue reading: George Michael Reportedly Checked Into 'Electric Shock' Rehab Centre In 2015

Sam Smith Pays Homage To George Michael


Sam Smith George Michael Wham Elton John Brian May

Sam Smith has credited George Michael for helping to shape him as an artist.

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

George Michael - George Michael spotted out walking his dog with his friends in London - London, United Kingdom - Friday 22nd March 2013

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George Michael Reported To Be 'Earning Millions' While In Rehab


George Michael

George Michael is apparently still raking in millions despite currently being in rehab seeking effective treatment for addiction in Switzerland, a new report suggests.

Though the former Wham! Singer and multi-platinum seller hasn’t released an album since early last year, he’s still earning a great deal of money through sales and royalties, even though he’s been holed up in the sanctuary of one of the most expensive rehab centres in the world, the Kusnacht Practice in Zurich, since the summer.

An unnamed source close to the 52 year old singer told The Sun: “It’s quite incredible George is still making millions even though he has not been working.”

Continue reading: George Michael Reported To Be 'Earning Millions' While In Rehab

The Chequered Past Of George Michael


George Michael

George Michael may be worth an estimated £90 million, but money can’t solve all your problems. The singer was in hospital last month after allegedly collapsing at his north London home on Thursday May 22. After spending four hours in his home, paramedics took Michael to the hospital for emergency treatment. He was discharged that weekend and said to be “well and resting.”

George Michael troubles George Michael has suffered a string of personal problems

Despite achieving critical acclaim throughout his career and earning £48.5 million from touring alone between 2006-2008, the singer has suffered his fair share of difficulties. Wham! may have been one of the biggest bands of the 1980s, but Michael suffered a string of sadnesses in his personal life. After finally coming to terms personally with his sexuality in the 90s, he began a relationship with Brazilian designer, Anselmo Feleppa. The couple were together for six months before Feleppa discovered that he was HIV positive. Michael later spoke about the shocking situation, “It was terrifying news. I thought I could have the disease too. I couldn’t go through it with my family because I didn’t know how to share it with them - they didn’t even know I was gay.” 2 years later Feleppa died of a brain haemorrhage related to AIDS.

Continue reading: The Chequered Past Of George Michael

David Austin - George Michael's album launch for 'Symphonica' held at Hamilton's Gallery - London, United Kingdom - Tuesday 4th March 2014

George Michael and David Austin
George Michael and Symphonica
George Michael and Shirlie Holliman

George Michael - George Michael and a friend seen leaving Cote Brasserie in north London after having lunch. George wears a black Adidas tracksuit with gold stripes. - London - Friday 22nd March 2013

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George Michael - George Michael spotted out walking his dog with his friends in London - London, United Kingdom - Friday 22nd March 2013

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George Michael Sunday 23rd September 2012 performing during his Symphonica Tour at the SECC

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George Michael

Date of birth

25th June, 1963

Occupation

Musician

Sex

Male

Height

1.83




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