George Michael facts for kids

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George Michael
George Michael performing at Wembley Stadium in 1985
Background information
Birth name Georgios Kyriacos Panayiotou
Also known as George Michael
Born (1963-06-25)June 25, 1963
Origin East Finchley, London, England
Died December 25, 2016(2016-12-25) (aged 53)
Goring-on-Thames, Oxfordshire, England
Genres Pop
Pop rock
Dance pop
R&B
Jazz
Blue Eyed Soul
Occupations Singer, songwriter
Instruments Vocals
Piano
Keyboards
Guitar
Bass guitar
Drums
Percussion
Years active 1982 - 2016
Labels Columbia Records, DreamWorks, Virgin, Epic, Sony Music
Associated acts Wham!

George Michael (Georgios Kyriacos Panayiotou, 25 June 1963 – 25 December 2016) was a two-time Grammy Award winning English singer-songwriter.

Career

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).

Charity

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.

Personal life

Michael was born in London to an English mother and Greek father. Michael was raised there and in Hertfordshire. He 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.

Death

On 25 December 2016 before 17:24 GMT, Michael died at his property in Goring, Oxfordshire, England from heart failure.

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