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George Michael Biography

Home > Music > M > Michael, George > Biography

Birth Name: Georgios Kyriacos Panayiotou
Born: 1963/06/25
Birth Place: East Finchley, North London, England
Years Active: 1980–present
Genres: Pop, Dance, Soul

George Michael (born Georgios Kyriacos Panayiotou June 25, 1963) is an English singer-songwriter who rose to fame in the 1980s when he formed the pop duo Wham! along with his school friend Andrew Ridgeley.

Michael's debut album, “Faith,” was released by Epic Records in the United Kingdom in October 1987 and included the singles "I Want Your Sex", "Faith", "Father Figure", "One More Try" and "Monkey." The album peaked at #1 in the UK Albums Chart, and was certified 4× Platinum by the British Phonographic Industry (BPI). It also peaked at #1 on the US Billboard 200 and was certified Diamond for sales of over 10 million. Also in 1987 Michael collaborated with Aretha Franklin on the UK and US #1 single "I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me)."

In September 1990 Michael released his second album “Listen Without Prejudice Vol. 1,” which peaked at number two in the US, #1 in the UK and was certified 4× Platinum. The album spawned the singles "Praying for Time", "Waiting for That Day", "Freedom! '90", "Heal the Pain" and "Cowboys and Angels."

In December 1991 Michael released "Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me", a duet with Elton John. It reached #1 in the UK and US. In 1992 Michael recorded "Too Funky" for the charity project “Red Hot + Dance” and the song reached number four in the UK and #10 in the US.

In 1993 Michael released the “Five Live” EP, which contained tracks performed at The Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert with Queen and Lisa Stansfield. It debuted at #1 in the UK and was certified Gold. In early 1996 Michael released "Jesus to a Child" a UK #1 single. The follow-up "Fastlove", also peaked at #1 in the UK. Following "Fastlove", “Older” was released in May 1996. Other singles from the album include "Spinning the Wheel", "Star People '97" and double A-sides "Older / I Can't Make You Love Me" and "You Have Been Loved / The Strangest Thing '97". All of these reached the UK top three.

Michael released his first greatest hits collection “Ladies & Gentlemen: The Best of George Michael” in November 1998 and it contained the new songs "Outside" and "As" a duet with Mary J. Blige. The album is Michael's most successful in the UK, reaching #1 and being certified 7× Platinum.

Michael's fourth studio album, “Songs from the Last Century,” was released in December 1999 and included cover versions of popular songs. His next album “Patience” was released in March 2004 and peaked at #1 in the UK.

“Twenty Five,” released in 2006, was George Michael's second greatest hits album, celebrating the 25th anniversary of his music career and debuting at #1 in the UK. The album contains songs mainly from George Michael's solo career and three new songs: "An Easier Affair" and "This Is Not Real Love" (a duet with Mutya Buena, formerly of Sugababes) and a new version of "Heal the Pain", recorded with Paul McCartney. In December 2008 Michael released a new track "December Song" on his website for free.

One of the world's best-selling music artists, Michael has sold over 100 million records worldwide as of 2010, encompassing 7 UK #1 singles, 7 UK #1 albums, 8 U.S #1 singles, and 1 U.S #1 album. His 1987 debut solo album, “Faith” has sold over 25 million copies worldwide and made several records and achievements in the United States. In 2004, Radio Academy named Michael as the most played artist on British radio between the period of 1984–2004.