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. Overkill, Bomber, Orgasmatron). I'll have my favourite charities up there and people will hopefully donate to that.". It has remained a symbol of Motörhead throught the years, with Petagno creating many variations of the Snaggletooth for the covers of many following albums (e.g. I'd like to have something on the Internet which is a charitable download site where anyone can download my music for free. It was created by artist Joe Petagno in 1977 for the cover of the band's first released album. He said: "I've been very well remunerated for my talents over the years so I really don't need the public's money. Snaggletooth is the name of the fanged face that acts as a symbol for Motörhead.

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 order of UK release date). George Michael announced that Patience will be the last record on sale to the public. 1995-present (Overnight Sensation, Snake Bite Love, Everything Louder Than Everyone Else, We Are Motörhead, Hammered, Live At Brixton Academy The Complete Concert, Inferno and the compilations 2000-2001). 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. 1992-1995 (March or Die, Bastards, Sacrifice). As both John and Michael were openly gay and had performed together on several occasions many were surprised at the public spat. 1987-1992 (Rock 'n' Roll, No Sleep At All, 1916, March or Die).

In December 2004 Elton John stated in an interview that he believed George Michael should 'get out more'. 1984-1987 (No Remorse, Orgasmatron). 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. 1983 (Another Perfect Day). In the 1980s, George Michael was very critical of Margaret Thatcher's Conservative government and its cruise missile alliance with the United States. 1976-1982 (Motörhead, Overkill, Bomber, Ace of Spades, No Sleep 'til Hammersmith, Iron Fist). 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. 1975 (On Parole) - initial line-up.

George has often taken a public political stance. (Note: The drummer on March or Die is Tommy Aldridge). 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. Lemmy is the only memeber of Motörhead who was in all of the line-ups, although Phil Taylor has played with all of the guitarists (Larry Wallis, "Fast" Eddie Clarke, Brian Robertson, Phil Campbell and Wurzel). 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. However, the band's name is not pronounced as the German usage; instead, Lemmy pronounces it (IPA) / 'məʊtəhɛd/. 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. The umlaut over the ö in their name is a record-cover art conceit, possibly derived from the similar "heavy metal umlaut" in the name of the Blue Öyster Cult.

After that incident, he became open about his homosexuality. Many artistes of the modern era cite Motörhead as an important influence. After pleading "no contest" to the charge, Michael was fined $810 and sentenced to 80 hours of community service. The group then returned to the concept of dual guitars and hired Wurzel and Phil Campbell to fill these roles. Mainstream success has dwindled since then but the band still have a large and loyal fanbase and continue to record and tour extensively. He was arrested by an undercover Beverly Hills police officer named Marcelo Rodriguez. Robertson only lasted for one album (1983's Another Perfect Day) having caused friction in the band due to his refusal to play their most popular tunes. 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. Clarke felt that this compromised the band's principles and resigned to be replaced by Brian Robertson, formerly with Thin Lizzy.

As a consequence Michael declared he would not release any new material until he had completed the minimum of his contractual obligations to Sony. Williams of the Plasmatics. The case was heard in London and was found against Michael. In 1982, Motörhead recorded a cover of Tammy Wynette's Stand By Your Man with Wendy O. 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 albums Ace of Spades and the live No Sleep 'Til Hammersmith from this era are also considered to be among their best work and were their most commercially successful. 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". "Ace of Spades" is considered by many to be the definitive Motörhead anthem.

Michael was involved in a court case concerning his record contract after his record company CBS was taken over by Sony. In the early 1980s they experienced UK Top 40 chart hits with singles such as "Ace of Spades", the St.Valentine's Day Massacre E.P. (their collaboration with 'apprentices' Girlschool) and Iron Fist. 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. Follow-up albums Overkill and Bomber cemented their reputation as one of Britain's foremost heavy metal groups. 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. By this time the standard of their performances had improved considerably, and the uncompromising nature of their music was beginning to garner a following from the worlds of both metal and punk. In a career spanning more than 20 years, George Michael has been responsible for more than 80 million album sales. The band's first official album release was the self-titled Motörhead, released in 1977.

His work covers a variety of pop styles, from ballads to funky dance tracks. The team of Lemmy, Clarke and Taylor is today regarded as the "classic" Motörhead line-up, although initial reactions were unfavourable: they memorably won a poll for "Worst Band in the World" in one music magazine. 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". Deciding that two guitarists were required, the band recruited "Fast" Eddie Clarke, but Wallis left during the auditions and so the idea was shelved. He was then also voted Best Male Singer by the same radio station and by the readers of a national newspaper. The sessions did not see the light of day until they were opportunistically released in 1979 once the band was becoming popular. "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. They recorded sessions at Rockfield Studios in Monmouth, during which Fox left to be replaced by Phil "Philthy Animal" Taylor.

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. The first line-up of the band featured Larry Wallis (ex-Pink Fairies) on guitar and Lucas Fox on drums. After a series of sell-out concerts at Wembley in 1986 the band was ended. Lemmy's stated aim was for the outfit to be "the dirtiest rock 'n' roll band in the world". After the success of his solo releases "Careless Whisper" and "Different Corner" stories of an impending split intensified. Realising that this would preclude them from commercial acceptance, he eventually settled on "Motörhead", after a song he had written for Hawkwind. 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 being sacked from Hawkwind in 1975, supposedly for "doing the wrong drugs", Lemmy decided to form a new band, originally to be called "Bastard".

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. An "us against the world" mentality is evident in many of their songs. 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. Their lyrics generally cover topics such as war, abuse of power, substance abuse and "life on the road" - the latter for which they wrote the song "We Are The Road Crew". 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. AC/DC referred to Motörhead as,"the only band louder than us". The band didn't survive for long though. Their sound tends to be "half metal, half punk, and half rock 'n roll" — purposefully adding up to three halves of a band.

Born Georgios Kyriacos Panayiotou, Michael began his career by forming a band called 'The Executives' together with Andrew Ridgeley. While the band are typically classified as heavy metal or speed metal, Lemmy has refused such labels, preferring to describe Motörhead's style as "rock and roll". George Michael (born June 25, 1963) is a British pop singer/songwriter born in Bushey, Hertfordshire. The title of one of their live albums, Everything Louder Than Everyone Else, reflects this assertion. 2004 "Round Here" #32 UK. Founded by ex-Hawkwind bassist Lemmy Kilmister in 1975, they specialise in songs that are extremely loud to the unaccustomed listener. 2004 "Flawless (Go to the City)" #8 UK. Their name derives from a slang term for an amphetamine user.

2004 "Amazing" #4 UK. Motörhead are a canonical speed metal band. 2002 "Shoot the Dog" #12 UK. See IPA in Unicode if you have display problems. 2002 "Freeek!" #7 UK. Note: This page contains phonetic information presented in the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) using Unicode. from Patience

    . 2004 Everything Louder Than Everything Else.

    2000 "If I Told You That" (with Whitney Houston) #9 UK. 2003 The Special Edition EP. from Greatest Hits (Whitney Houston album)

      . 2002 The Best of Motörhead. Blige) #4 UK. 2002 Motörhead EP. 1999 "As" (with Mary J. 2001 25 & Alive Boneshaker - Steamhammer - SPV.

      1998 "Outside" #2 UK. 1991 Everything louder Than Everything Else. from Ladies & Gentlemen: The Best of George Michael

        . 1988 EP. 1997 "You Have Been Loved/The Strangest Thing '97" #2 UK. 1986 Deaf Not Blind. from Older
          . 1985 Birthday Party.

          George Michael) #10 UK. 1984 Another Perfect Day EP. 1997 "Waltz Away Dreaming" (Toby Bourke feat. 1982 Live In Toronto - Castle Hendering. non-album single

            . Inferno (June 22, 2004). 1997 "Star People '97" #2 UK. Live At Brixton Academy The Complete Concert (2003; live).

            1997 "Older/I Can Make You Love Me" #3 UK. Hammered (2002). 1996 "Spinning the Wheel" #2 UK. All The Aces (2001; compilation). 1996 "Fast Love" #1 UK, #8 US. Over The Top - The Rarities (2000; compilation). 1996 "Jesus to a Child" #1 UK, #7 US. The Chase Is Better Than The Catch (2000; compilation).

            from Older

              . The Best Of (2000; compilation). 1993 "Somebody to Love" #30 US. We Are Motorhead (2000). from Five Live EP
                . Everything Louder Than Everyone Else (1999; live). 1992 "Too Funky" #4 UK, #10 US. Snake Bite Love (1998).

                from Red Hot + Dance various artists charity album

                  . Overnight Sensation (1996). 1991 "Don't Let the Sun Go down on Me" (with Elton John) #1 UK, #1 US. Sacrifice (1994). non-album single
                    . Bastards (1993). 1991 "Heal the Pain" #31 UK. March or Die (1992).

                    1990 "Freedom 90" #28 UK, #8 US. 1916 (1991). 1990 "Waiting for That Day" #23 UK, #27 US. No Sleep at All (1988; live). 1990 "Praying for Time" #6 UK, #1 US. Rock 'n' Roll (1987). 1

                      . Orgasmatron (1986).

                      from Listen without Prejudice, Vol. No Remorse (1984; compilation). 1988 "Kissing a Fool" #18 UK, #5 US. Another Perfect Day (1983). 1988 "Monkey" #13 UK, #1 US. Iron Fist (1982). 1988 "One More Try" #8 UK, #1 US. No Sleep 'Til Hammersmith (1981; live; reached No.1 in UK album charts).

                      1988 "Father Figure" #11 UK, #1 US. Ace of Spades (1980; reached No.4 in UK album charts). 1987 "Faith" #2 UK, #1 US. On Parole (1979; unofficial release from sessions recorded in 1975). 1987 "I Want Your Sex" #3 UK, #2 US. Bomber (1979). from Faith

                        . Overkill (1979).

                        1987 "I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me)" (with Aretha Franklin) #1 US, #1 UK. Motörhead (1977). from Aretha (Aretha Franklin album)

                          . Mikkey Dee - drums. 1986 "A Different Corner" #1 UK, #7 US. Phil Campbell - guitar. 1986 "The Edge of Heaven" #1 UK (double A-side with Where Did Your Heart Go in the UK), #10 US. Lemmy Kilmister - bass, vocals.

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

                            . Phil Campbell - guitar. 1984 "Everything She Wants" #2 UK (double A-side with Last Christmas in the UK), #1 US (1985 release). Lemmy Kilmister - bass, vocals.

                            1984 "Freedom" #1 UK, #3 US (1985 release). Phil "Philthy Animal" Taylor - drums. 1984 "Careless Whisper" (credited to George Michael solo) #1 UK, #1 US. Wurzel - guitar. 1984 "Wake Me Up Before You Go Go" #1 UK, #1 US. Phil Campbell - guitar. from Make It Big

                              . Lemmy Kilmister - bass, vocals.

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

                                . Wurzel (born Michael Burston) - guitar. 1983 "Club Tropicana" #4 UK. Phil Campbell - guitar. 1983 "Bad Boys" #2 UK. Lemmy Kilmister - bass, vocals.

                                1983 "Wham Rap" #8 UK. Phil "Philthy Animal" Taylor - drums. 1982 "Young Guns (Go For It)" #3 UK. Brian Robertson - guitar. from Fantastic!

                                  . Lemmy Kilmister - bass, vocals. Patience (2004) #1 UK, #12 US. Phil "Philthy Animal" Taylor - drums.

                                  Songs from the Last Century (1999) #2 UK, #157 US. "Fast" Eddie Clarke - guitar, vocals. Ladies & Gentlemen (Best Of George Michael) (1998) #1 UK, #24 US. Lemmy Kilmister - bass, vocals. Older (1996) #1 UK, #6 US. Lucas Fox - drums. Five live (with Queen & Lisa Stansfield) (1992) #1 UK (singles chart), #46 US. Larry Wallis - guitar.

                                  1 (1990) #1 UK, #2 US. Lemmy Kilmister - bass, vocals. 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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