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Mika Biography

Home > Music > M > Mika > Biography

Birth Name: Michael Holbrook Penniman Jr
Born: 1983/08/18
Birth Place: London, England, UK
Years Active: 2006–present
Genres: Pop, Rock, Power Pop, Pop Rock, Glam Rock

Michael Holbrook Penniman was born on August 8, 1983 in Beirut to a Lebanese mother and an American father. The singer/songwriter is known by his stage name Mika and grew up in London, England. When he was a year old his family was forced to leave Lebanon due to the war and moved to Paris, eventually moving on to settle in London. Mika was drawn to music from an early age and began playing the piano when he was five years old; composing his own music by the time he was seven years old. Mika was a socially awkward child, who was bullied at school, and turned to music as his escape. As a child Mika was trained by the Russian opera profession, Alla Ardakov, and was accepted to the prestigious Royal College of Music in London. Eager to begin his music career, Mika dropped out of the Royal College of Music to record with Casablanca Records. Mika debuted on BBC's Radio 2 in 2006 on the "Dermot O'Leary's Show," and followed up with an appearance on "Later... with Jools Holland."

Mika was signed later that year with Island Records and put out his debut album, “Life in Cartoon Motion” in 2007. The album was a huge commercial success and won a BRIT Award for Best British Breakthrough Act, and received a Grammy Award nomination. The reviews that came in for the album compared Mika to artists such as Freddie Mercury, Elton John, Prince, Robbie Williams, and David Bowie. Mika embarked on a tour of the U.S. in support of the album, and followed up in 2009 with his second offering, “The Boy Who Knew Too Much,” and a world-wide tour.

In 2010, Mika released the single “Kick Ass,” which he wrote for the Marvel Comics' film of the same name. Mika began recording his third studio album, “The Origin of Love” in 2010; Mika has stated in the press that the album will have more of a pop feel to it, include several French songs, and the music is influenced by the works of Daft Punk and Fleetwood Mac. Mika released the first single off his album, “Elle Me Dit” in 2011, which met with warm responses.