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. Lead singer Gwen Stefani has taken time to record a solo album, Love Angel Music Baby, which was released November 23, 2004. I'll have my favourite charities up there and people will hopefully donate to that.". Rock Steady Live, a DVD of one of the band's Long Beach concert, has also been released. I'd like to have something on the Internet which is a charitable download site where anyone can download my music for free. No Doubt also released a 2-CD 2-DVD box set titled Boombox. He said: "I've been very well remunerated for my talents over the years so I really don't need the public's money. It included their first cover version, "It's My Life" which had originally been a hit for Talk Talk.

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. An album featuring all their singles was released in 2003. George Michael announced that Patience will be the last record on sale to the public. Gwen's hairstyle and clothing have been copied by teenage girls worldwide, who are sometimes called "gwenabees". 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. Publicity for the group was mainly focused on platinum-blonde Gwen and her image which took inspiration from 1940s Hollywood and punk rock. As both John and Michael were openly gay and had performed together on several occasions many were surprised at the public spat. No Doubt's most recent studio album, Rock Steady, produced two hit Grammy winning singles, "Hey Baby" and "Underneath It All", with a notably more studio-influenced flavour.

In December 2004 Elton John stated in an interview that he believed George Michael should 'get out more'. Consequently, they have excluded many fan-favorite songs in post-2000 concerts such as "Home Now", "Comforting Lie", "Dark Blue" and "Artificial Sweetner". 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. The band has spoken unkindly of the album in more recent interviews for various reasons. In the 1980s, George Michael was very critical of Margaret Thatcher's Conservative government and its cruise missile alliance with the United States. The album featured a darker tone and was more lyrically advanced than No Doubt's previous works. 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 2000, the band released Return of Saturn, their highly anticipated followup to Tragic Kingdom.

George has often taken a public political stance. No Doubt included its song "New" on the soundtrack to the movie Go in 1999. 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. Tragic Kingdom has sold over 15 million copies worldwide. 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 release of 1995's Tragic Kingdom and the single "Just a Girl" allowed the group to achieve mainstream commercial success. A second single, "Spiderwebs", was also successful, and their third single, "Don't Speak" (1996), which was written about the dissolution of Gwen and Tony Kanal's romantic relationship, was a number one hit for 21 weeks on the airplay chart of the Billboard Hot 100. 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. Their second album, The Beacon Street Collection, was released independently.

After that incident, he became open about his homosexuality. No Doubt's self-titled first album was released in 1992 through Interscope, and featured the single "Trapped in a Box". After pleading "no contest" to the charge, Michael was fined $810 and sentenced to 80 hours of community service. In 1994, Eric left because he didn't like the direction the band was headed and pursued an animating career on the cartoon TV series The Simpsons. He was arrested by an undercover Beverly Hills police officer named Marcelo Rodriguez. The band developed a live following, mainly in the band's home state of California. 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 group was first formed by Eric Stefani in Orange County, California in the city of Anaheim in December 1986 with John Spence as lead singer. Spence committed suicide in 1987, leaving Eric's younger sister Gwen Stefani as lead vocalist.

As a consequence Michael declared he would not release any new material until he had completed the minimum of his contractual obligations to Sony. No Doubt is an American alternative rock group whose music was initially influenced heavily by ska, punk and New Wave. The case was heard in London and was found against Michael. Everything in Time (2004). Sony responded that Michael had refused to appear in promotional videos and it was this that had caused the poor response to the album. Boom Box (2003). 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". The Singles 1992-2003 (2003).

Michael was involved in a court case concerning his record contract after his record company CBS was taken over by Sony. Rock Steady (2001). 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. Return of Saturn (2000). 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. Tragic Kingdom (1995). In a career spanning more than 20 years, George Michael has been responsible for more than 80 million album sales. Beacon Street Collection (1995).

His work covers a variety of pop styles, from ballads to funky dance tracks. No Doubt (1992). 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". Gabriel Mc Nair – Keyboard, horns. He was then also voted Best Male Singer by the same radio station and by the readers of a national newspaper. Stephen Bradley – Keyboard, horns. "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. Adrian Young – Drums.

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. Tony Kanal – Bass. After a series of sell-out concerts at Wembley in 1986 the band was ended. Tom Dumont – Guitar. After the success of his solo releases "Careless Whisper" and "Different Corner" stories of an impending split intensified. Gwen Stefani – Vocals. 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.

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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