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Facts about George Michael
Biography for George MichaelGeorgios Kyriacos Panayiotou (Greek: Γεώργιος Κυριάκος Παναγιώτου) (born 25 Jun. 1963 (50 years ago)), best known as George Michael, is a two-time Grammy Award winning, English singer-songwriter, who has had a career as frontman of the duo Wham! as well as a soul-influenced, solo popular music musician. According to britishhitsongwriters.com he is the fortieth most successful songwriter in UK singles chart history based on weeks that his compositions have spent on the chart.
He has sold over 100 million records worldwide as of 2008 (5 years ago), encompassing 12 British #1 singles, 7 British #1 albums, 10 US #1 singles, and 2 US #1 albums. His 1987 (26 years ago) debut solo album, Faith has sold over 20 million copies worldwide.
All four of his solo studio albums have scored #1 on the UK charts and have become great international successes.
Early lifeMichael was born Georgios-Kyriacos Panayiotou in Bushey, Hertfordshire. His father was Kyriacos Panayiotou, a Greek Cypriot restaurateur who moved to England in the 1950 (63 years ago) and changed his name to Jack Panos. Michael's mother, Lesley Angold Harrison, was an English dancer who died from cancer in 1997 (16 years ago). His maternal grandmother was Jewish. Michael spent the majority of his childhood in North London, a typical place for Greek Cypriot in the 1980s, living in the home his parents bought soon after his birth. During his early teens, the family moved to Radlett and Michael attended Bushey Meads School.
Michael met Andrew Ridgeley at Bushey Meads School when Ridgeley volunteered to tutor Michael. The two both had the same career ambition of being musicians.
He began his career by forming a short-lived ska band called The Executive with Ridgeley, Ridgeley's brother Paul, Andrew Leaver, and David Mortimer (aka David Austin).
SexualityMichael was initially private about being gay; nonetheless, his sexual orientation was already well known among some music business people during his Wham! career, while his public image (wallpaper) was still a heterosexual one.
Michael later established a relationship with Anselmo Feleppa, whom he had met at the 1991 (22 years ago) concert Rock in Rio. Feleppa died of an AIDS-related brain hemorrhage in 1993 (20 years ago). Michael's single "Jesus to a Child" is a tribute to Feleppa (he consistently dedicates it to him before performing it live), as is his 1996 (17 years ago) album Older.
In a 2007 (6 years ago) interview, Michael said that he kept his homosexuality secret due to worries over the effect it would have on his mother.
DrugsOn 26 Feb. 2006 (7 years ago), Michael was arrested for possession of Class C drugs, an incident that he described as "my own stupid fault, as usual." He was cautioned by the police and released.[citations needed]
On 15 May 2006 (7 years ago), Michael was found slumped over the wheel of his Range Rover, photographed apparently sleeping at traffic lights in London. He awoke after someone knocked on his window for five minutes, and was "sweating heavily and had his iPod on". He drove away weaving, and then hit a traffic bollard. Later the same month, he was questioned by police after colliding with three cars in the street in which he lives.[citations needed]
In the early hours of 1 Oct. 2006 (7 years ago), Michael was found unconscious in his Mercedes-Benz S-Class car, causing an obstruction at the junction of Cricklewood Lane with Hendon Way, in northwest London. Police found Michael slumped in his seat in a semi-conscious state. He was taken to the Royal Free Hospital in Hampstead for checks, and was then booked at Colindale police station. He was later cautioned by police for possession of cannabis, and was released on bail pending further inquiries on his fitness to drive.[citations needed] He pled guilty on 8 May 2007 (6 years ago) to driving while unfit through drugs. He was banned from driving for two years, and sentenced to community service again. During sep. 2007 (6 years ago), on Desert Island Discs, he said that his cannabis use was a problem — he wished he could smoke less of it and was constantly trying to do so.
Michael's long term partner Kenny Goss has also been treated for dependence on prescription sleeping medication, registering with an Arizona-based clinic for two months in Jun. 2004 (9 years ago) after encouragement from Michael.[citations needed]
On 19 sep. 2008 (5 years ago), Michael was arrested in a public toilet in the Hampstead Heath area of London for possession of Class A and C drugs. He was taken to the police station and cautioned for controlled substance possession.
PoliticsDuring his years with Wham!, George Michael was very critical of Margaret Thatcher's Conservative government and its cruise missile alliance with the United States. Michael said that he felt bad, since through his taxes he was paying for these weapons, yet was obliged not to evade his tax obligations to his home country. Michael also wrote "Shoot the Dog", a song critical about the friendly relationship between the US and UK governments and their involvement in the Iraq War.
During 2000 (13 years ago), George Michael joined Melissa Etheridge, Garth Brooks, Queen Latifah, the Pet Shop Boys, and k.d. lang, to perform in Washington, D.C. as part of 'Equality Rocks' - a concert to benefit the Human Rights Campaign.
During 2007 (6 years ago), he toured the United States with the £1.45 million piano that John Lennon used to write "Imagine".
He devoted his concert in Sofia, Bulgaria from his "Twenty Five Tour" to the Bulgarian nurses prosecuted in the HIV trial in Libya.
Studio albums1987: Faith
1990: Listen Without Prejudice, Vol. 1
1999: Songs from the Last Century
UK number one singles (12)1984: "Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go" (Wham!)
1984: "Careless Whisper"
1984: "Freedom" (Wham!)
1984: "Do They Know It's Christmas?" (Band Aid)
1985: "I'm Your Man" (Wham!)
1986: "The Edge of Heaven" (Wham!)
1986: "A Different Corner"
1987: "I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me)" (with Aretha Franklin)
1991: "Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me" (with Elton John)
1993: Five Live EP (with Queen and Lisa Stansfield)
1995: "Jesus to a Child"
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