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George Michael

George Michael

Fact Sheet

OccupationSinger, Songwriter  
Musical genre:Pop  
Birthday25 June 1963 (54)
SignCancer
Birthplace  Bushey, England, UK
George Michael (born June 25, 1963) is a British pop singer/songwriter born in Bushey.

Wham!

Born Georgios Kyriacos Panayiotou, Michael began his career by forming the pop duo Wham! together with his best friend Andrew Ridgely in the early 1980s. The success was instant 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, Last Christmas, Everything She Wants and many more.

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, Freedom90, 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 nearly 20 years, George Michael has been responsible for more than 75 million album sales. A new and a highly anticipated album by fans named Patience was released in March 2004 and 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.

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!'"

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.

Future Career

George Michael announced that Patience will 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.