George Michael

Georgios Kyriacos Panayiotou on 25 June 1963 in Bushey (England). His father, a restaurateur, was of Greek Cypriot origin and in 1975 he met Andrew Ridgely at the Bushey Meads Comprehensive School in North London. Four years later (5 November 1979), together with Paul Ridgely, Andrew’s brother, David Mortimer and Andrew Leaver, the group “The Executive” was formed; they tried to make ska music but were not very lucky. 24 March 1982 George Michael and Andrew recorded a demo under the name “Wham!”. The demo led them to sign a contract with Innervisions. On May 28th their first single, “Wham Rap!”, was released in England; it was with “Young guns go for it” that the duo saw significant sales figures. The following singles are “Bad Boys”, that George Michael proposes as the manifesto of his generation, and the famous “Club Tropicana”, so their first album is released: “Fantastic”. Meanwhile, in July 1984 the single “Careless Whisper” was released in England, George Michael’s first solo album written by him at the age of seventeen. The song became one of the most programmed songs on the radio around the world and between 1984 and 1985 the singles “Wake me up before you go” (first place in the U.S. pop charts), “Freedom”, “Everything she wants”, “Last Christmas” and “Do they know it’s Christmas” were released. The latter is written for “Band Aid”, with solidarity objectives (the proceeds are intended for the victims of the famine that afflicts Ethiopia), and sung by a selection of the most representative artists of European pop music (among others, Bono of U2). On November 13, 1985 they broke up; on June 28, 1986 the concert “The Final” at Wembley Stadium gathered 72,000 people, who watched the last chapter of the duo, and Andrew lost track; many years later he recorded the album “Son of Albert”, which turned out to be a failure; George Michael instead refined his style and added elements of black music to his music. In 1987 George Michael was the first male vocalist ever to duet with Aretha Franklin. He then began his travels between London and Denmark where he recorded his first solo album “Faith”, which will sell over 14 million copies worldwide. In 1988 he participated in the “Nelson Mandela Freedom Concert” in Wembley. In the meantime, the image of the artist seems to be considered more than music: in 1990 he implemented a total change. He records “Listen Without Prejudice Vol. 1” and decides not to appear on the cover, not to appear on the video and not to grant interviews. In the video of “Praying for time” only the lyrics of the song appear; in the video of “Freedom ’90” semi-unknown models such as Linda Evangelista, Naomi Campbell and Cindy Crawford appear at the time. from 1991 onwards he collaborates with various artists including Elton John, with whom he sings an unforgettable “Don’t let the sun go down on me” at the Wembley stadium. The following year, on April 20, he took part in the “Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert” where he duet with Lisa Stansfield in “These are the days of our lives”; he was amazed when he played “Somebody to love”, and showed his commitment to the fight against AIDS by playing before the Princess of Wales in the “Concert of Hope” broadcast worldwide, which served to raise funds and raise public awareness of the disease.In 1992 “Red Hot + Dance” was released, a charity project containing songs by artists such as Madonna, Seal and George Michael. Public opinion considers the singer’s behavior as snobbish. The war against the record company drags George Michael into a long silence, and finally in 1996, after the longed-for separation from the Epic label, the long-awaited album “Older” was released on Virgin, and on October 8, 1996, he played an unplugged MTV album that enchanted the public. After the album “Older” the happiness and successes of George Michael can be considered a rebirth. The best moment of his life is ruined by his mother’s disappearance due to cancer. To her she dedicates “Waltz away dreaming”, an extraordinary greeting “recited” together with Toby Bourke.At the death of Lady Diana, to whom she is linked, she is given “You have been loved”, followed by the collection “Ladies and Gentleman” which contains the new “Outside”, a song with which George Michael explicitly declares his homosexuality with irony and with an invitation to the whole world to accept any apparent diversity as something absolutely normal, and at the threshold of the new millennium “Songs of the last century”, which contains songs that have marked the twentieth century rearranged with orchestral parts.In the early months of 2002, after years of relative silence, George Michael returns to the scene with the single “Freeek!”, whose video overflowing with nudity, sexy scenes and assorted sexual depravity triggers a ruckus among the puritans of the United Kingdom. Also appear Mrs. Blair, Saddam Hussein and… American missiles… again changes label and after Universal, the singer returns to Sony. He postponed the release of his 2004 album “Patience”, preceded by the single “Amazing”, and in 2006 he returned with a new single (“An easier affair”) and a new world tour. In May 2011 he announced the Symphonica Tour, a world tour with a symphony orchestra. A few months later, on November 21, he was admitted to Vienna because of a severe form of pneumonia. He returned to perform during the closing ceremony of the London 2012 Olympics, singing “Freedom and White Light”. September 4, 2012 resumed the tour Symphonica Tour in Vienna, where, on the occasion, dedicates the concert to all the medical staff who 9 months earlier had saved his life. In 2014 he returned to the music scene with a new album, “Symphonica”, which contains all the great hits of George Michael performed during the concerts of the Symphonica Tour. At just 53, he died suddenly on Christmas Day, December 25, 2016, due to a heart attack, at his home in Goring-on-Thames.

Discography

Faith (1987)

Listen Without Prejudice Vol. 1 (1990)

Older (1996)

Songs from the Last Century (1999)

Patience (2004)