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George Michael

  • Birthplace: Bushey, Hertfordshire, England
  • Birthday: June 25
Date of passing: 
December 25, 2016

George Michael was a British singer-songwriter who was one of the most popular and commercially successful pop stars of the 1980s and ’90s. His songs were featured in numerous movies and television programs, and he appeared as a guest or performer on countless TV shows throughout the world.

Born Georgios Kyriacos Panayiotou in East Finchley, London, he formed his first musical group in 1979, when he and a schoolmate, Andrew Ridgeley, played in a ska band called the Executive. Ditching ska for pop, they adopted the name Wham! and scored early success with songs like “Young Guns (Go for It!).”

George Michael was a British singer-songwriter who was one of the most popular and commercially successful pop stars of the 1980s and ’90s. His songs were featured in numerous movies and television programs, and he appeared as a guest or performer on countless TV shows throughout the world.

Born Georgios Kyriacos Panayiotou in East Finchley, London, he formed his first musical group in 1979, when he and a schoolmate, Andrew Ridgeley, played in a ska band called the Executive. Ditching ska for pop, they adopted the name Wham! and scored early success with songs like “Young Guns (Go for It!).”

Wham!'s 1983 debut album, Fantastic, went to No. 1 in Britain, and the following year Michael and Ridgeley scored their first No.1 single in the U.S. with the song “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go.” Soon afterward came another smash, the worldwide 1984 hit “Careless Whisper."

The duo broke in 1986, and the following year Michael achieved massive success as a solo artist with the album Faith, fueled by songs including the title track and “I Want Your Sex,” “Father Figure,” “Monkey” and “One More Try.” The collection, which has sold more than 10 million copies in the U.S., won the Grammy Award for album of the year.

In the years that followed he continued to release hit albums, including Listen Without Prejudice Vol. 1, released in 1990, as well as singles, such as the 1988 duet with Aretha Franklin, “I Knew You Were Waiting (for Me),” for which he won another Grammy.

His songs have been featured in many feature films, including Perfect, Beverly Hills Cop II, The Prince of Tides, Very Bad Things, Charlie's Angels and Keanu.

TV shows that have featured Michael's songs include The Fall Guy, Knight Rider, 3rd Rock from the Sun, The King of Queens, Cold CaseScrubs, Family Guy, House, CommunityEli Stone, Nip/Tuck, The OfficeGlee, The Mindy Project and several others.

He also performed on numerous awards shows and on every major talk or variety show.

In addition, he played himself in the finale episodeof the HBO comedy Extras.

Michael died on December 25, 2016, in Oxfordshire, England. He was 53. The reported cause of death was heart failure.

 

 

 

 

 

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George Michael

George Michael

Photo credit: 
Associated Press