George Michael

This article is about the musician. George Michael is also the name of a former radio DJ and current sports presenter. See The George Michael Sports Machine.
George Michael

George Michael (born June 25, 1963) is a British pop singer/songwriter born in Bushey, Hertfordshire.

Wham!

Born Georgios Kyriacos Panayiotou, Michael began his career by forming a band called 'The Executives' together with Andrew Ridgeley. The band didn't survive for long though. It wasn't until he formed the duo Wham! together again with his best friend Andrew Ridgeley in the early 1980s that the success came for the band. Their first album, 'Fantastic', was an instant success and within a year they had released their classic debut single, Wham Rap, while their second single, Young Guns (Go For It!) became the first in a string of Top 10 hits. They were rapidly followed by titles such as Club Tropicana, Wake Me Up Before You Go Go, Careless Whisper, Last Christmas, Everything She Wants, I'm Your Man, and many more. Michael also sang on the original Band Aid recording of "Do They Know It's Christmas and donated the profits from 'Last Christmas' to the charity. After the success of his solo releases "Careless Whisper" and "Different Corner" stories of an impending split intensified. After a series of sell-out concerts at Wembley in 1986 the band was ended.

Solo career

Some of his biggest hit singles as a solo artist include the single "Faith" (taken from his debut album Faith that not only became No.1 on both sides of the Atlantic but also resulted in stunning 6 No.1 singles in America) and many more.

"Careless Whisper" (written when he was 17) became one of the most played songs of the decade and voted Londoner's Favourite record of all time in January 1995 in a competition run jointly by the capital's leading evening newspaper and radio station. He was then also voted Best Male Singer by the same radio station and by the readers of a national newspaper. Some of his other hits include "Father Figure", "One More Try", "Freedom 90", "Fastlove", "Jesus To A Child", "Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me" (a duet with Elton John), 2002's "Freeek!" and "Shoot The Dog".

His work covers a variety of pop styles, from ballads to funky dance tracks. In a career spanning more than 20 years, George Michael has been responsible for more than 80 million album sales.

Having decided to release his new material through a number of labels on a single-by-single basis, George found a home at Sony for his new, highly anticipated album Patience. It was released in March 2004 after two unstellar singles came out on Polydor and it debuted at number one on the UK album charts and number 2 in Australia.

Notoriety

Michael was involved in a court case concerning his record contract after his record company CBS was taken over by Sony. Amongst Michael's complaints was that Sony had not fully supported the release of his second solo album resulting in its poor performance in the US compared to "Faith". Sony responded that Michael had refused to appear in promotional videos and it was this that had caused the poor response to the album. The case was heard in London and was found against Michael. As a consequence Michael declared he would not release any new material until he had completed the minimum of his contractual obligations to Sony.

Michael is also well known for his 1998 arrest for "engaging in a lewd act" in a public restroom in a Beverly Hills city park. He was arrested by an undercover Beverly Hills police officer named Marcelo Rodriguez.

George Michael: "Well, I was followed into the restroom, and then, this cop - well, I didn't know he was a cop at the time obviously – he started playing this game. I think it's called ‘I'll show you mine, you show me yours, and then when you show me yours, I'm gonna nick you!'" [1] (http://gaytoday.badpuppy.com/garchive/people/110998pe.htm)

After pleading "no contest" to the charge, Michael was fined $810 and sentenced to 80 hours of community service. After that incident, he became open about his homosexuality.

Soon afterwards, Michael made a video for his single "Outside" which was clearly based on the public restroom incident and which featured men dressed up as policemen kissing. Rodriguez, the police officer, claimed that this video "mocked" him, and also that Michael had slandered him in interviews, and in 1999 filed a ten million dollar lawsuit in California against the singer. The court dismissed the case on the grounds related to the officer's status as a kind of public official, but an appeals court reinstated the case on December 3, 2002.

George has often taken a public political stance. George Michael sang as part of Band Aid on the charity song "Do They Know It's Christmas?" for famine relief in Ethiopia and Wham! played at Live Aid in 1985. In the 1980s, George Michael was very critical of Margaret Thatcher's Conservative government and its cruise missile alliance with the United States. George said that he felt bad, since through his taxes he was paying for these weapons, yet was obliged to never dodge his tax obligations to his home country.

In December 2004 Elton John stated in an interview that he believed George Michael should 'get out more'. As both John and Michael were openly gay and had performed together on several occasions many were surprised at the public spat. In an open letter response Michael claimed he and Elton were not good friends and that John had little knowledge of his personal life other than what he might glean from gossip.

Future career

George Michael announced that Patience will be the last record on sale to the public. He told BBC Radio 1 on March 10, 2004 that future music that he puts out will be available for download with fans encouraged to make a donation to charity. He said: "I've been very well remunerated for my talents over the years so I really don't need the public's money. I'd like to have something on the Internet which is a charitable download site where anyone can download my music for free. I'll have my favourite charities up there and people will hopefully donate to that."

He states that the decision will put less pressure to produce a new album every so often and allow him to have more of a private life with his partner Kenny Goss.

Discography

Albums

  • As part of Wham!
    • Fantastic (1983) #1 UK, #83 US
    • Make It Big (1984) #1 UK, #1 US
    • Music From The Edge of Heaven (1986) #10 US
    • The Final (1986) (compilation) #2 UK
    • If You Were There (The Best of Wham) (1997) #4 UK
  • As a solo artist
    • Faith (1987) #1 UK, #1 US
    • Listen without Prejudice, Vol. 1 (1990) #1 UK, #2 US
    • Five live (with Queen & Lisa Stansfield) (1992) #1 UK (singles chart), #46 US
    • Older (1996) #1 UK, #6 US
    • Ladies & Gentlemen (Best Of George Michael) (1998) #1 UK, #24 US
    • Songs from the Last Century (1999) #2 UK, #157 US
    • Patience (2004) #1 UK, #12 US

Hit singles

  • from Fantastic!
    • 1982 "Young Guns (Go For It)" #3 UK
    • 1983 "Wham Rap" #8 UK
    • 1983 "Bad Boys" #2 UK
    • 1983 "Club Tropicana" #4 UK
  • non-album single
    • 1983 "Club Fantastic Megamix" #15 UK
  • from Make It Big
    • 1984 "Wake Me Up Before You Go Go" #1 UK, #1 US
    • 1984 "Careless Whisper" (credited to George Michael solo) #1 UK, #1 US
    • 1984 "Freedom" #1 UK, #3 US (1985 release)
    • 1984 "Everything She Wants" #2 UK (double A-side with Last Christmas in the UK), #1 US (1985 release)
  • from Music from the Edge of Heaven
    • 1985 "I'm Your Man" #1 UK, #3 US
    • 1985 "Last Christmas" (re-issue) #6 UK
    • 1986 "The Edge of Heaven" #1 UK (double A-side with Where Did Your Heart Go in the UK), #10 US
    • 1986 "A Different Corner" #1 UK, #7 US
  • from Aretha (Aretha Franklin album)
    • 1987 "I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me)" (with Aretha Franklin) #1 US, #1 UK
  • from Faith
    • 1987 "I Want Your Sex" #3 UK, #2 US
    • 1987 "Faith" #2 UK, #1 US
    • 1988 "Father Figure" #11 UK, #1 US
    • 1988 "One More Try" #8 UK, #1 US
    • 1988 "Monkey" #13 UK, #1 US
    • 1988 "Kissing a Fool" #18 UK, #5 US
  • from Listen without Prejudice, Vol. 1
    • 1990 "Praying for Time" #6 UK, #1 US
    • 1990 "Waiting for That Day" #23 UK, #27 US
    • 1990 "Freedom 90" #28 UK, #8 US
    • 1991 "Heal the Pain" #31 UK
  • non-album single
    • 1991 "Don't Let the Sun Go down on Me" (with Elton John) #1 UK, #1 US
  • from Red Hot + Dance various artists charity album
    • 1992 "Too Funky" #4 UK, #10 US
  • from Five Live EP
    • 1993 "Somebody to Love" #30 US
  • from Older
    • 1996 "Jesus to a Child" #1 UK, #7 US
    • 1996 "Fast Love" #1 UK, #8 US
    • 1996 "Spinning the Wheel" #2 UK
    • 1997 "Older/I Can Make You Love Me" #3 UK
    • 1997 "Star People '97" #2 UK
  • non-album single
    • 1997 "Waltz Away Dreaming" (Toby Bourke feat. George Michael) #10 UK
  • from Older
    • 1997 "You Have Been Loved/The Strangest Thing '97" #2 UK
  • from Ladies & Gentlemen: The Best of George Michael
    • 1998 "Outside" #2 UK
    • 1999 "As" (with Mary J. Blige) #4 UK
  • from Greatest Hits (Whitney Houston album)
    • 2000 "If I Told You That" (with Whitney Houston) #9 UK
  • from Patience
    • 2002 "Freeek!" #7 UK
    • 2002 "Shoot the Dog" #12 UK
    • 2004 "Amazing" #4 UK
    • 2004 "Flawless (Go to the City)" #8 UK
    • 2004 "Round Here" #32 UK

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He states that the decision will put less pressure to produce a new album every so often and allow him to have more of a private life with his partner Kenny Goss. Although Dale still often performs under the Missing Persons name with hired touring players, the band has declared that there will be no further reunions. I'll have my favourite charities up there and people will hopefully donate to that.". A TV appearance and three successful shows were put on in late 2002 and early 2003 (with drummer Joe Travers standing in for Terry Bozzio), but finally Cuccurullo declined to participate any further. I'd like to have something on the Internet which is a charitable download site where anyone can download my music for free. Two attempted additional concerts were cancelled at the last minute when first Terry and then Dale left the project. He said: "I've been very well remunerated for my talents over the years so I really don't need the public's money. The new Missing Persons, consisting of original members Warren Cuccurullo and Dale and Terry Bozzio, with new keyboardist Ron Poster and bassist Wes Wehmiller, did some promotional activities and live performances in July of 2001, but the reunion did not last long.

He told BBC Radio 1 on March 10, 2004 that future music that he puts out will be available for download with fans encouraged to make a donation to charity. In May of 2001, he formally left Duran Duran (who were planning a reunion with their own original guitarist and drummer). George Michael announced that Patience will be the last record on sale to the public. In December of 2000, Cuccurullo again began discussing a Missing Persons reunion with Dale Bozzio, and this time it seemed more likely to come to fruition. In an open letter response Michael claimed he and Elton were not good friends and that John had little knowledge of his personal life other than what he might glean from gossip. There were two releases in 2002: Classic Remasters is a compilation of remastered tracks and dance mixes issued by Capitol Records, and Lost Tracks is another collection of old and new MP live tracks issued by One Way Records. As both John and Michael were openly gay and had performed together on several occasions many were surprised at the public spat. Rhyme and Reason and Color In Your Life were finally issued on CD in 2000.

In December 2004 Elton John stated in an interview that he believed George Michael should 'get out more'. This was followed up by a compilation of modern remixes of classic MP tracks, Missing Persons Remixed Hits (1999). George said that he felt bad, since through his taxes he was paying for these weapons, yet was obliged to never dodge his tax obligations to his home country. This resulted in the release of Late Nights Early Days in 1998, a live concert recorded in 1981, with the added 1980 studio track "Action/Reaction". In the 1980s, George Michael was very critical of Margaret Thatcher's Conservative government and its cruise missile alliance with the United States. Beginning in 1997, Cuccurullo began a campaign to get some of the early Missing Persons material reissued. George Michael sang as part of Band Aid on the charity song "Do They Know It's Christmas?" for famine relief in Ethiopia and Wham! played at Live Aid in 1985. A proposed 1994 Missing Persons reunion never came to fruition.

George has often taken a public political stance. Wild is a composer of New Age and meditation music under the name Liquid Mind. The court dismissed the case on the grounds related to the officer's status as a kind of public official, but an appeals court reinstated the case on December 3, 2002. O'Hearn has had a thriving solo career as a very popular composer of ambient instrumental music. Rodriguez, the police officer, claimed that this video "mocked" him, and also that Michael had slandered him in interviews, and in 1999 filed a ten million dollar lawsuit in California against the singer. Cuccurullo went on to perform as guitarist for Duran Duran for over a decade, as well as record several solo albums. Soon afterwards, Michael made a video for his single "Outside" which was clearly based on the public restroom incident and which featured men dressed up as policemen kissing. In the 1990s he recorded several albums and toured as a solo drummer, and created several instructional videos.

After that incident, he became open about his homosexuality. Terry Bozzio played as a sessions drummer and sideman with numerous big acts through the 1980s, at the same time as he worked at developing his solo career. After pleading "no contest" to the charge, Michael was fined $810 and sentenced to 80 hours of community service. Some commentators have argued that Dale Bozzio's lack of stage personality ultimately resulted in the decline of the group's early popularity, many also regard Missing Persons as her finest work, despite her later scoring minor success as a solo performer, including a top 40 hit with the song "Simon oh Simon", written and produced by Prince. He was arrested by an undercover Beverly Hills police officer named Marcelo Rodriguez. The band followed up with the more conventional Color In Your Life in June 1986, but almost before the promotional tour could begin, increasing tensions between Terry and Dale Bozzio led to the end of the tour, the band, and the couple's marriage. Michael is also well known for his 1998 arrest for "engaging in a lewd act" in a public restroom in a Beverly Hills city park. The experimental album Rhyme and Reason (1984) was not a great success, and Capitol was not happy about the direction the band was taking.

As a consequence Michael declared he would not release any new material until he had completed the minimum of his contractual obligations to Sony. Missing Persons appeared at the three-day Southern California concert, the US Festival in May 1983, along with Berlin, The Pretenders, U2, David Bowie, and many more. The case was heard in London and was found against Michael. The music video for "Words" used unusual (albeit primitive by today's standards) visual effects, making it popular with the suits (who in those days still wore T-shirts) at the fledgling cable TV channel MTV. Sony responded that Michael had refused to appear in promotional videos and it was this that had caused the poor response to the album. The singles "Mental Hopscotch", "Destination Unknown," "Walking in L.A.," "Words," and "Windows" all met with success. Amongst Michael's complaints was that Sony had not fully supported the release of his second solo album resulting in its poor performance in the US compared to "Faith". With label support, the re-released EP sold another 250,000 units, and the new album Spring Session M went gold.

Michael was involved in a court case concerning his record contract after his record company CBS was taken over by Sony. Two years of hard work led up to a signing with Capitol Records in 1982. It was released in March 2004 after two unstellar singles came out on Polydor and it debuted at number one on the UK album charts and number 2 in Australia. "Mental Hopscotch" was a #1 record on local radio station KROQ, and the self-promoted EP ended up selling 7,000 copies. Having decided to release his new material through a number of labels on a single-by-single basis, George found a home at Sony for his new, highly anticipated album Patience. live music crowd. In a career spanning more than 20 years, George Michael has been responsible for more than 80 million album sales. They toured, promoted the EP, appeared in the movie Lunch Wagon, and became a must-see band among the L.A.

His work covers a variety of pop styles, from ballads to funky dance tracks. In 1980 they recorded a 4-song EP entitled Missing Persons, in Zappa's brand-new UMRK studios; the recording was financed by Cuccurullo's father. Some of his other hits include "Father Figure", "One More Try", "Freedom 90", "Fastlove", "Jesus To A Child", "Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me" (a duet with Elton John), 2002's "Freeek!" and "Shoot The Dog". They went on to add yet another Zappa alumnus, bassist Patrick O'Hearn, as well as keyboardist Chuck Wild. He was then also voted Best Male Singer by the same radio station and by the readers of a national newspaper. The band was founded in 1980 by guitarist Warren Cuccurullo and vocalist Dale Bozzio (who were working together contributing to Frank Zappa's album Joe's Garage), after convincing her husband, former Zappa drummer Terry Bozzio, that they could make it on their own. "Careless Whisper" (written when he was 17) became one of the most played songs of the decade and voted Londoner's Favourite record of all time in January 1995 in a competition run jointly by the capital's leading evening newspaper and radio station. Missing Persons were a band who played a blend of New Wave music and electronic pop rock, with a musical sensibility which set them apart from many other early 80's groups who latched onto the Blondie-style line up of radio friendly, white, accessible pop punk.

Some of his biggest hit singles as a solo artist include the single "Faith" (taken from his debut album Faith that not only became No.1 on both sides of the Atlantic but also resulted in stunning 6 No.1 singles in America) and many more. Color in Your Life (1986). After a series of sell-out concerts at Wembley in 1986 the band was ended. Rhyme & Reason (1984). After the success of his solo releases "Careless Whisper" and "Different Corner" stories of an impending split intensified. Spring Session M (1982). Michael also sang on the original Band Aid recording of "Do They Know It's Christmas and donated the profits from 'Last Christmas' to the charity. Missing Persons [EP] (1982).

They were rapidly followed by titles such as Club Tropicana, Wake Me Up Before You Go Go, Careless Whisper, Last Christmas, Everything She Wants, I'm Your Man, and many more. Their first album, 'Fantastic', was an instant success and within a year they had released their classic debut single, Wham Rap, while their second single, Young Guns (Go For It!) became the first in a string of Top 10 hits. It wasn't until he formed the duo Wham! together again with his best friend Andrew Ridgeley in the early 1980s that the success came for the band. The band didn't survive for long though.

Born Georgios Kyriacos Panayiotou, Michael began his career by forming a band called 'The Executives' together with Andrew Ridgeley. George Michael (born June 25, 1963) is a British pop singer/songwriter born in Bushey, Hertfordshire. 2004 "Round Here" #32 UK. 2004 "Flawless (Go to the City)" #8 UK.

2004 "Amazing" #4 UK. 2002 "Shoot the Dog" #12 UK. 2002 "Freeek!" #7 UK. from Patience

    .

    2000 "If I Told You That" (with Whitney Houston) #9 UK. from Greatest Hits (Whitney Houston album)

      . Blige) #4 UK. 1999 "As" (with Mary J.

      1998 "Outside" #2 UK. from Ladies & Gentlemen: The Best of George Michael

        . 1997 "You Have Been Loved/The Strangest Thing '97" #2 UK. from Older
          .

          George Michael) #10 UK. 1997 "Waltz Away Dreaming" (Toby Bourke feat. non-album single

            . 1997 "Star People '97" #2 UK.

            1997 "Older/I Can Make You Love Me" #3 UK. 1996 "Spinning the Wheel" #2 UK. 1996 "Fast Love" #1 UK, #8 US. 1996 "Jesus to a Child" #1 UK, #7 US.

            from Older

              . 1993 "Somebody to Love" #30 US. from Five Live EP
                . 1992 "Too Funky" #4 UK, #10 US.

                from Red Hot + Dance various artists charity album

                  . 1991 "Don't Let the Sun Go down on Me" (with Elton John) #1 UK, #1 US. non-album single
                    . 1991 "Heal the Pain" #31 UK.

                    1990 "Freedom 90" #28 UK, #8 US. 1990 "Waiting for That Day" #23 UK, #27 US. 1990 "Praying for Time" #6 UK, #1 US. 1

                      .

                      from Listen without Prejudice, Vol. 1988 "Kissing a Fool" #18 UK, #5 US. 1988 "Monkey" #13 UK, #1 US. 1988 "One More Try" #8 UK, #1 US.

                      1988 "Father Figure" #11 UK, #1 US. 1987 "Faith" #2 UK, #1 US. 1987 "I Want Your Sex" #3 UK, #2 US. from Faith

                        .

                        1987 "I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me)" (with Aretha Franklin) #1 US, #1 UK. from Aretha (Aretha Franklin album)

                          . 1986 "A Different Corner" #1 UK, #7 US. 1986 "The Edge of Heaven" #1 UK (double A-side with Where Did Your Heart Go in the UK), #10 US.

                          1985 "Last Christmas" (re-issue) #6 UK. 1985 "I'm Your Man" #1 UK, #3 US. from Music from the Edge of Heaven

                            . 1984 "Everything She Wants" #2 UK (double A-side with Last Christmas in the UK), #1 US (1985 release).

                            1984 "Freedom" #1 UK, #3 US (1985 release). 1984 "Careless Whisper" (credited to George Michael solo) #1 UK, #1 US. 1984 "Wake Me Up Before You Go Go" #1 UK, #1 US. from Make It Big

                              .

                              1983 "Club Fantastic Megamix" #15 UK. non-album single

                                . 1983 "Club Tropicana" #4 UK. 1983 "Bad Boys" #2 UK.

                                1983 "Wham Rap" #8 UK. 1982 "Young Guns (Go For It)" #3 UK. from Fantastic!

                                  . Patience (2004) #1 UK, #12 US.

                                  Songs from the Last Century (1999) #2 UK, #157 US. Ladies & Gentlemen (Best Of George Michael) (1998) #1 UK, #24 US. Older (1996) #1 UK, #6 US. Five live (with Queen & Lisa Stansfield) (1992) #1 UK (singles chart), #46 US.

                                  1 (1990) #1 UK, #2 US. Listen without Prejudice, Vol. Faith (1987) #1 UK, #1 US. As a solo artist

                                    .

                                    If You Were There (The Best of Wham) (1997) #4 UK. The Final (1986) (compilation) #2 UK. Music From The Edge of Heaven (1986) #10 US. Make It Big (1984) #1 UK, #1 US.

                                    Fantastic (1983) #1 UK, #83 US. As part of Wham!

                                      .

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