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. There was also speculation that "I Don't Wanna Die Anymore" would be a single, as several websites selling Maybe You've Been Brainwashed Too marked the track as "Album Version". I'll have my favourite charities up there and people will hopefully donate to that.". Apart from the album sampler and the one-track promos for the two singles "You Get What You Give" and "Someday We'll Know" there also was a promo single for "Mother We Just Can't Get Enough", which was probably supposed the band's third single. I'd like to have something on the Internet which is a charitable download site where anyone can download my music for free. The promotional sampler for the album, Songs from Maybe you've been brainwashed too, featured "You Get What You Give", "Mother We Just Can't Get Enough", "I Hope I Didn't Just Give Away The Ending", "I Don't Wanna Die Anymore" and "Maybe You've Been Brainwashed Too". He said: "I've been very well remunerated for my talents over the years so I really don't need the public's money. All songs were written by Gregg Alexander, except "You Get What You Give" written by Gregg Alexander and Richard Knowels and "Someday We'll Know" written by Gregg Alexander, Danielle Brisebois and Debra Holland.

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 2005 LMC did a remix of "You Get What You Give" which was released as "Don't Let Go" by LMC vs New Radicals. George Michael announced that Patience will be the last record on sale to the public. trailer to the 2001 film Bubble Boy), on soundtracks (like A Walk to Remember and Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed) and covered by artists such as Mandy Moore and Hall & Oates. 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. Even after the band's breakup their songs are still being used for several commercials (e.g. As both John and Michael were openly gay and had performed together on several occasions many were surprised at the public spat. His most successful song as a producer/song-writer was the 2002 Grammy Award-winning "Game Of Love" by Santana and Michelle Branch.

In December 2004 Elton John stated in an interview that he believed George Michael should 'get out more'. In the following years he worked with artists such as Ronan Keating, Sophie Ellis-Bextor and Enrique Iglesias. 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. His first producion work after the Radicals' breakup was the album Portable Life by fellow Radical Danielle Brisebois. In the 1980s, George Michael was very critical of Margaret Thatcher's Conservative government and its cruise missile alliance with the United States. He stated that "the fatigue of traveling & getting three hours sleep in a different hotel every night to do boring 'hanging and schmoozing' with radio and retail people, is definitely not for [him]", that he "lost interest in fronting a 'One Hit Wonder' to the point that [he] was wearing a hat while performing so that people wouldn't see [his] lack of enthusiasm." and that he would go on to form a production company to focus on producing and writing songs freelance for other artists. 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. The Radicals went on to shoot the video for their second single "Someday We'll Know", however even before its release, Gregg Alexander issued a press release on 12 July announcing he disbanded the group.

George has often taken a public political stance. When the band canceled their appearance at RockFest as well as their UK tour (sheduled to start on 17 May 1999) rumors started they would break up, while MCA Records claimed a member of the band being ill was the cause for the canceled shows. 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. They also opened for the Goo Goo Dolls on their tour starting 30 March 1999. 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. Apart from many concerts and festivals the tour also included several live performance on the radio (two of which, their performance of "You Get What You Give" at KBCO and at World Cafe on WXPN, were also released on the radio stations' compilation CDs), an appearance at the Tonight Show with Jay Leno and a performance at the House of Blues in Chicago on New Year's Eve 1999 (which is probably the only New Radicals show of which bootlegs are circulating). 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. To promote their album, the Radicals embarked on a tour through the United States, starting in fall 1998.

After that incident, he became open about his homosexuality. When asked about it in an interview, Marilyn Manson replied he was "not mad that he said he'd kick my ass, I just don't want to be used in the same sentence with Courtney Love" and would "crack his skull open if I see him". Alexander later explained the line, along with the lines directly before it, "Health insureance rip off lying/ FDA big bankers buying/ Fake computer crashes dining/ Cloning while they're multiplying" was an experiment to see if the media would focus on the real issues, or on the celebrity dissing. After pleading "no contest" to the charge, Michael was fined $810 and sentenced to 80 hours of community service. Their first and only album, Maybe You've Been Brainwashed Too, was released in October 1998, followed by their first single "You Get What You Give", which became a huge hit with heavy radio airplay and rotation on MTV and much media attention, in large part focused on the celebrity-slamming line "Fashion shoots with Beck and Hanson/ Courtney Love and Marilyn Manson/ You're all fakes run to your mansions/ Come around we'll kick your ass in". He was arrested by an undercover Beverly Hills police officer named Marcelo Rodriguez. The concept behind the band was a revolving door with no permanent members other than Alexander, joined by a changing array of other musicians. 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 New Radicals were formed in LA in 1997 by producer/singer/song-writer Gregg Alexander.

As a consequence Michael declared he would not release any new material until he had completed the minimum of his contractual obligations to Sony. All other members changed from recording to touring to video-shooting. The case was heard in London and was found against Michael. The band's only constant members were lead-singer Gregg Alexander, who wrote and produced all their songs, and background-vocalist Danielle Brisebois, who often worked with Alexander (before and after the New Radicals) and also co-wrote the Radicals' second single "Someday We'll Know". 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 New Radicals were a band that was at the height of its popularity in 1999. The band only released one album Maybe You've Been Brainwashed Too, but was able to produce two commercially successful singles from it: "You Get What You Give" and "Someday We'll Know". 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". "Someday We'll Know" (1999).

Michael was involved in a court case concerning his record contract after his record company CBS was taken over by Sony. "You Get What Yoou Give" (1999). 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. "Someday We'll Know" (Instrumental) - 3:39. 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. "Technicolor Lover" - 3:42. In a career spanning more than 20 years, George Michael has been responsible for more than 80 million album sales. "The Decency League" - 3:30.

His work covers a variety of pop styles, from ballads to funky dance tracks. "Someday We'll Know" - 3:39. 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". "You Get What You Give" (album version) - 5:02. He was then also voted Best Male Singer by the same radio station and by the readers of a national newspaper. "Maybe You've Been Brainwashed Too" - 5:21. "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. "To Think I Thought" - 2:46.

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. "You Get What You Give" (single version) - 4:42. After a series of sell-out concerts at Wembley in 1986 the band was ended. "To Think I Thought" (Bonus Track for Japanese Release) - 2:46. After the success of his solo releases "Careless Whisper" and "Different Corner" stories of an impending split intensified. "Crying Like A Church On Monday" - 5:02. 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. "Flowers" - 3:52.

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. "Technicolor Lover" - 3:42. 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. "Gotta Stay High" - 3:06. 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. "In Need Of A Miracle" - 3:43. The band didn't survive for long though. "Maybe You've Been Brainwashed Too" - 5:21.

Born Georgios Kyriacos Panayiotou, Michael began his career by forming a band called 'The Executives' together with Andrew Ridgeley. "Someday We'll Know" - 3:39. George Michael (born June 25, 1963) is a British pop singer/songwriter born in Bushey, Hertfordshire. "Jehovah Made This Whole Joint For You" - 4:11. 2004 "Round Here" #32 UK. "I Don't Wanna Die Anymore" - 4:16. 2004 "Flawless (Go to the City)" #8 UK. "I Hope I Didn't Just Give Away The Ending" - 6:37.

2004 "Amazing" #4 UK. "You Get What You Give" - 5:02. 2002 "Shoot the Dog" #12 UK. "Mother We Just Can't Get Enough" - 5:46. 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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