George Michael facts for kids
Quick facts for kids
George Michael performing at Wembley Stadium in 1985
|Birth name||Georgios Kyriacos Panayiotou|
|Also known as||George Michael|
|Born||June 25, 1963|
|Origin||East Finchley, London, England|
|Died||December 25, 2016
Goring-on-Thames, Oxfordshire, England
Blue Eyed Soul
|Years active||1982 - 2016|
|Labels||Columbia Records, DreamWorks, Virgin, Epic, Sony Music|
George Michael was born Georgios Kyriacos Panayiotou (Greek: Γεώργιος Κυριάκος Παναγιώτου) on 25 June 1963 in London. His father, Kyriacos "Jack" Panayiotou, was a Greek-Cypriot restaurateur who emigrated from Patriki, Cyprus, to England in the 1950s. His mother, Lesley Angold (born Harrison, died 1997), was an English dancer. Michael had two sisters: Yioda (born 1958) and Melanie (1960–2019).
While Michael was in his early teens, the family moved to Radlett. There, Michael began attending Bushey Meads School in Bushey, where he, as "Yog", met, sat down next to, and befriended, his future Wham! partner Andrew Ridgeley. The two had the same career ambition of being musicians. Michael busked on the London Underground, performing songs such as "'39" by Queen. His involvement in the music business began with his working as a DJ, playing at the Bel Air Restaurant in Northwood, London, clubs, and local schools around Bushey, Stanmore, and Watford. This was followed by the formation of a short-lived ska band called The Executive, with Ridgeley, Ridgeley's brother Paul, Andrew Leaver, Jamie Gould, and David Mortimer (later known as David Austin).
George Michael who rose to fame in the 1980s, when he formed the pop duo Wham! with his school friend Andrew Ridgeley. The duo released a string of massive singles in 1982 like Young Guns (Go For It) and Wham Rap! (Enjoy What You Do), both written by Michael. In 1983, Wham’s debut album, "Fantastic" was released. It reached #1 in the UK charts and had the hit single Club Tropicana with a music video, shot in Ibiza. After a year, Wham changed its image with the release of their second album Make it Big, which was a critical and commercial success, hitting #1 in both the UK and the USA. It produced four singles, all topping the charts on both sides of the Atlantic. One of the most popular songs in the album, Careless Whisper, Michael's first solo single, was released in 1984 while he was still performing with Wham!. In 1986, Wham! disbanded after release of a third studio album, single and concert at Wembley Stadium.
Following his split with Wham!, George Michael began a successful solo career, releasing four studio albums, "Faith" (1987), "Listen Without Prejudice Vol. 1" (1991), "Older" (1996), and "Patience" (2004). Michael has sold over 100 million records worldwide as of 2010, encompassing 11 British #1 singles, 9 British #1 albums, 10 US #1 singles, and 2 US #1 album. His 1987 debut solo album, Faith has sold over 20 million copies worldwide alone and its considered by some music critics to be one of the greatest albums in pop music history. In 2004, Radio Academy has named Michael the most played artist on British radio between the period of 1984-2004.
In 2006, George Michael announced his first tour in 15 years. 25 Live tour was a massive, worldwide undertaking by Michael that spanned forth individual tours over the course of five years (2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010).
In November 1984, Michael joined other popular British and Irish pop stars to form Band Aid, singing on the charity song "Do They Know It's Christmas?" for relief of famine in Ethiopia. This single became the UK Christmas number one on the UK Singles Chart in December 1984. Michael's own song, "Last Christmas" by Wham!, was held at number two. "Do They Know It's Christmas?" sold 3.75 million copies in the UK. It became the biggest selling single in UK Chart history. It held this position until 1997 when it was overtaken by Elton John's "Candle in the Wind 1997", released in tribute to Princess Diana following her death Michael also attended Diana's funeral with Elton John. Michael donated the royalties from "Last Christmas" to Band Aid and subsequently sang with Elton John at Live Aid (the Band Aid charity concert) in 1985.
Michael was initially private about being homosexual. During his Wham! career, he was in relationships with well-known women such as actress Brooke Shields, and model Pat Fernandes. Nonetheless, his sexual orientation was well known among London music business people.
These persisted into his solo career, but Michael had already established a relationship with Anselmo Feleppa, whom he had met at the 1991 concert "Rock in Rio". Feleppa died of an AIDS-related brain hemorrhage in 1993. Michael's single Jesus to a Child is a tribute to Feleppa: (he consistently dedicates it to him before performing it live), as is his 1996 album "Older". Since 1996, Michael has been in a long-term relationship with businessman Kenny Goss.
Awards and achievements
Michael achieved 13 number-one songs on the UK Singles Chart and 10 number-one songs on the US Billboard Hot 100. Michael won numerous music awards, including two Grammy Awards, three Brit Awards, twelve Billboard Music Awards, and four MTV Video Music Awards. He was listed among Billboard's the "Greatest Hot 100 Artists of All Time" and Rolling Stone′s the “200 Greatest Singers of All Time”. The Radio Academy named him the most played artist on British radio during the period 1984–2004. Michael was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2023.
Images for kids
Michael (left) and Andrew Ridgeley as Wham!, c. 1984–1985
Michael performed at Live Aid at the old Wembley Stadium (exterior pictured) on 13 July 1985, and Wham! played their last concert, The Final, at the same venue on 28 June 1986.
Garth Brooks and Michael at the Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium, Washington, 29 April 2000
Michael performing "Outside" at the Olympic Stadium, Athens in 2007
Unofficial memorial garden outside Michael's home in Highgate, 29 July 2017
Elton John performing a tribute to Michael at Twickenham, London, in June 2017
In Spanish: George Michael para niños
George Michael Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.