We are so saddened to hear of the untimely death of legendary musician George Michael who died yesterday reportedly of heart failure at the age of 53. He was an English singer, songwriter, and record producer who rose to fame as a member of the music duo Wham! He was best known in the 1980s and 1990s with his style of post-disco dance-pop, with best-selling songs such as “Last Christmas” and “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go“.
Michael sold more than 100 million records worldwide. His 1987 debut solo album, Faith, sold more than 20 million copies worldwide. Michael garnered seven number one singles in the UK and eight number one hits on the Billboard Hot 100 in the US, including “Careless Whisper” and “Freedom! ’90“.
He ranks among the best-selling British acts of all time, with Billboard magazine ranking him the 40th-most successful artist to ever live. Michael won various music awards throughout his 30-year career, including three Brit Awards—winning Best British Male twice, four MTV Video Music Awards, four Ivor Novello Awards, three American Music Awards, and two Grammy Awards from eight nominations.
In 2004, the Radio Academy named Michael the most played artist on British radio during the period 1984–2004. The documentary A Different Story, released in 2005, covered his career and personal life. In 2006, Michael announced his first tour in 15 years, the worldwide 25 Live tour, spanning three individual tours over the course of three years (2006, 2007 and 2008).
In 2016, Michael announced a second documentary on his life entitled Freedom, set to be released in March 2017. On 25 December 2016, Michael died at his Oxfordshire home at the age of 53.
George Michael formed the duo Wham! with Andrew Ridgeley in 1981. The band’s first album Fantastic reached No. 1 in the UK in 1983 and produced a series of top 10 singles including “Young Guns“, “Wham Rap!” and “Club Tropicana“. Their second album, Make It Big, reached No. 1 on the charts in the US. Singles from that album included “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go” (No. 1 in the UK and US), “Freedom“, “Everything She Wants“, and “Careless Whisper” which reached No. 1 in nearly 25 countries, including the UK and US, and was Michael’s first solo effort as a single.
Michael sang on the original Band Aid recording of “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” (which became the UK Christmas number one) and donated the profits from “Last Christmas/Everything She Wants” to charity. He also contributed background vocals to David Cassidy‘s 1985 hit “The Last Kiss”, as well as Elton John’s 1985 successes “Nikita” and “Wrap Her Up“. Michael cited Cassidy as a major career influence and interviewed Cassidy for David Litchfield’s Ritz Newspaper.
Wham!’s tour of China in April 1985, the first visit to China by a Western popular music act, generated worldwide media coverage, much of it centred on Michael.] Before Wham!’s appearance in China, many kinds of music in the country were forbidden.
The audience included members of the Chinese government, and Chinese television presenter, Kan Lijun, who was the on stage host, spoke of Wham!’s historic performance; “No-one had ever seen anything like that before. All the young people were amazed and everybody was tapping their feet. Of course the police weren’t happy and they were scared there would be riots.” The tour was documented by film director Lindsay Anderson and producer Martin Lewis in their film Foreign Skies: Wham! In China.
With the success of Michael’s solo singles, “Careless Whisper” (1984) and “A Different Corner” (1986), rumours of an impending break up of Wham! intensified. The duo officially separated in 1986, after releasing a farewell single, “The Edge of Heaven” and a singles compilation, The Final, plus a sell-out concert at Wembley Stadium that included the world premiere of the China film. The Wham! partnership ended officially with the commercially successful single “The Edge of Heaven”, which reached No. 1 on the UK chart in June 1986.
The beginning of his solo career, during early 1987, was a duet with Aretha Franklin. “I Knew You Were Waiting” was a one-off project that helped Michael achieve an ambition by singing with one of his favourite artists, and it scored number one on both the UK Singles Chart and the US Billboard Hot 100 upon its release.
For Michael, it became his third consecutive solo number one in the UK from three releases, after 1984’s “Careless Whisper” (though the single was actually from the Wham! album Make It Big) and 1986’s “A Different Corner“. The single was also the first Michael had recorded as a solo artist which he had not written himself. The co-writer, Simon Climie, was unknown at the time, although he would have success as a performer with the band Climie Fisher in 1988. Michael and Aretha Franklin won a Grammy Award in 1988 for Best R&B Performance – Duo or Group with Vocal for the song.
George Michael was know for having great hair in the eighties nad nineties also leather jackets and jeans.
- 1Early life
- 2Musical career
- 2.11981–1986: Wham!
- 2.2Solo career
- 2.2.11987–1989: Faith
- 2.2.21990–1992: Listen Without Prejudice
- 2.2.31993: Five Live
- 2.2.41994–1997: Older
- 2.2.51998: Ladies & Gentlemen: The Best of George Michael
- 2.2.61999: Songs from the Last Century
- 2.2.72000–2005: Patience
- 2.2.82005–2010: Twenty Five and concert tours
- 2.2.92011–2016: Symphonica and concert tours
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