George Michael

British singer (1963–2016)

Georgios Kyriacos Panayiotou (25 June 1963 – 25 December 2016), known professionally as George Michael, was an English singer-songwriter, and record producer. He is regarded as one of the greatest cultural icons of his generation.

George Michael
Michael in 2011
Born
Georgios Kyriacos Panayiotou

(1963-06-25)25 June 1963
Died25 December 2016(2016-12-25) (aged 53)
Cause of deathCardiomyopathy and myocarditis caused by fatty liver disease[1]
Resting placeHighgate cemetery
Occupation(s)Singer, songwriter, Record producer
Years active1981–2016
Musical career
GenresPop
Pop rock
Dance pop
R&B
Jazz
Blue Eyed Soul
InstrumentsVocals
Piano
Keyboards
Guitar
Bass guitar
Drums
Percussion
LabelsColumbia Records, DreamWorks, Virgin, Epic, Sony Music
Websitewww.georgemichael.com

Career change

George Michael rose to fame in the 1980s, when he formed the pop duo Wham! with his school friend Andrew Ridgeley. The duo released a string of massive singles in 1982 like "Young Guns (Go for It)" and "Wham Rap! (Enjoy What You Do)", both written by Michael. In 1983, Wham!'s debut album, Fantastic was released. It reached #1 in the UK charts and had the hit single "Club Tropicana" with a music video, shot in Ibiza. After a year, Wham changed its image with the release of their second album Make It Big, which was a critical and commercial success, hitting #1 in both the UK and the USA. It produced four singles, all topping the charts on both sides of the Atlantic. One of the most popular songs in the album, "Careless Whisper", Michael's first solo single, was released in 1984 while he was still performing with Wham!.[2] In 1986, Wham! disbanded after release of a third studio album, single and concert at Wembley Stadium.

Following his split with Wham!, George Michael began a successful solo career, releasing four studio albums, Faith (1987), Listen Without Prejudice Vol. 1 (1990), Older (1996), and Patience (2004). Michael has sold over 100 million records worldwide as of 2010,[3] encompassing 11 British #1 singles, 9 British #1 albums, 10 US #1 singles, and 2 US #1 album. His 1987 debut solo album, Faith has sold over 20 million copies worldwide alone and its considered by some music critics to be one of the greatest albums in pop music history.[4] In 2004, Radio Academy has named Michael the most played artist on British radio between the period of 1984-2004.[5]

In 2006, George Michael announced his first tour in 15 years. 25 Live tour was a massive, worldwide undertaking by Michael that spanned forth individual tours over the course of five years (2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010).[6]

Charity change

In November 1984, Michael joined other popular British and Irish pop stars to form Band Aid, singing on the charity song "Do They Know It's Christmas?" for relief of famine in Ethiopia. This single became the UK Christmas number one on the UK Singles Chart in December 1984. Michael's own song, "Last Christmas" by Wham!, was held at number two.[7] "Do They Know It's Christmas?" sold 3.75 million copies in the UK. It became the biggest selling single in UK Chart history. It held this position until 1997 when it was overtaken by Elton John's "Candle in the Wind 1997", released in tribute to Princess Diana following her death Michael also attended Diana's funeral with Elton John.[7] Michael donated the royalties from "Last Christmas" to Band Aid and subsequently sang with Elton John at Live Aid (the Band Aid charity concert) in 1985.[8]

Personal life change

Michael was born in London to an English mother and Cypriot father. Michael was raised there and in Hertfordshire. He was initially private about being homosexual. During his Wham! career, he was in relationships with well-known women such as actress Brooke Shields, and model Pat Fernandes.[9][10][11] Between 1986 and 1988, he was romantically involved with Kathy Yueng, an American makeup artist who was featured in the "I Want Your Sex" music video.[12][13][14] Nonetheless, his sexual orientation was well known among London music business people.[15]

These persisted into his solo career, but Michael had already established a relationship with Anselmo Feleppa, whom he had met at the 1991 concert Rock in Rio. Feleppa died of an AIDS-related brain hemorrhage in 1993. Michael's single "Jesus to a Child" is a tribute to Feleppa: he consistently dedicated it to him before performing it live, as is his 1996 album Older.[16] Since 1996, Michael has been in a long-term relationship with businessman Kenny Goss. They have homes in London and Dallas.[17]

Death change

On 25 December 2016 before 17:24 GMT, Michael died at his property in Goring, Oxfordshire, England from heart failure and a fatty liver, aged 54. Before 22:59 GMT his publicist stated that he had "passed away peacefully" and Thames Valley Police said they were treating the death as unexplained and there were no suspicious circumstances. South Central Ambulance Service had attended his property at 13:42 GMT on Christmas Day.[18]

Discography change

Studio albums change

Year Album details
1987 Faith
1990 Listen Without Prejudice Vol. 1
  • Release date: September 11, 1990
  • Label: Columbia Records
1996 Older
2004 Patience

References change

  1. Reed, Ryan (30 December 2016). "Autopsy: George Michael's Cause of Death 'Inconclusive'". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on 31 December 2016. Retrieved 30 December 2016.
  2. "George Michael's highs and lows". 21 September 2008 – via news.bbc.co.uk.
  3. "BBC.com Michael seeking 'a quieter life'". 12 June 2008. Archived from the original on 2010-02-01. Retrieved 2011-04-09.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  4. "George Micahel at HP Pavilion at San Jose". Yahoo Inc. 24 March 2008. Archived from the original on 1 February 2010. Retrieved 3 May 2008.
  5. "George Michael dominates airwaves". 28 April 2004 – via news.bbc.co.uk.
  6. "Latest Entertainment News & Celebrity News". www.mtv.com.au. Archived from the original on 2010-03-08. Retrieved 2011-04-09.
  7. 7.0 7.1 Sedghi, Ami (4 November 2012). "UK's million-selling singles: the full list". The Guardian. London, England. Retrieved 26 December 2016.
  8. Butcher, Asa (20 November 2014). "30 years later... the original Band Aid performers". gbtimes.com. Archived from the original on 26 December 2016. Retrieved 25 December 2016.
  9. Mirror.co.uk (7 June 2007). "GEORGE CONFESSES". mirror.
  10. Abdulatief, Soraya (27 November 2009). "24 Facts: George Michael". Channel.
  11. "Brooke Shields and George Michael".
  12. "THE SHAM OF WHAM; GEORGE MICHAEL'S SEX SHAME: 'Four girls a night' boasts to boost his image. - Free Online Library". www.thefreelibrary.com.
  13. "::YOGCHICK::: Kathy Jeung: George Michael's Girlfriend in the 80s". Archived from the original on 2010-03-04. Retrieved 2011-04-09.
  14. "Account Suspended". www.planetgeorge.org.[permanent dead link]
  15. Fiona Russell Powell (1998). "My High Times with Gay George". Punch. Archived from the original on 2009-05-18. Retrieved 2009-04-27.
  16. Hellomagazine.com. "The life of celebrities & royals, biographies, news, photos". hellomagazine.com.
  17. "Goss Gallery to Open in Dallas Featuring International Contemporary Art". Prnewswire.co.uk. Retrieved April 27, 2009.[permanent dead link]
  18. "Ex-Wham singer George Michael dies". BBC. 25 December 2016. Retrieved 25 December 2016.

Other websites change