Georgios Kyriacos Panayiotou, on the 25th June 1963, in
Finchley, London, of a Greek-Cypriot father and a British
mother, Yog, as he was known to family and friends, wanted to
become a pilot but this was not possible because of his
near-sightedness and colour blindness so he turned towards a
musical career. With grammar school chum, Andrew Ridgely, (who
persuaded George to smarten up and trade in the thick glasses
for contacts) he formed the ska band, The Executive. After
just two performances he and Ridgely decided to try to make it
by themselves. From the title of a song that George had
written, "Wham Bang Thank You Ma'am", Wham! was born.
hits rolled out, from "Young Guns (Go For It) in 1982, "Wham!
Rap (Enjoy What You Do) 1983, "Bad Boys" 1983, "Club
Tropicana" 1983, "Club Fantastic Megamix" 1983, "Wake Me Up
Before You Go Go"1984, "Careless Whisper" 1984,"Make It Big"
1984, "Freedom" 1984, "Last Christmas" 1984, "I'm Your Man"
1984, until "Music From The Edge Of Heaven"1986, when the duo
split after performing a farewell concert at Wembley Stadium
to an audience of more than 70,000 people.
"I Want Your Sex" for the "Beverly Hills Cop 2" film was
banned by many radio stations on
sides of the Atlantic. The BBC ban probably gave it the boost
needed to reach No.3 in the charts here. The end of 1987 saw
"Faith", his first Solo Album released. A huge promotion and
the world tour that followed exhausted George. A High Court
battle with Sony (they had bought out CBS who George was
contracted to) slowed George's solo career, but the matter was
finally resolved with Sony winning the case, but George
getting his release from the contract, which was what he had
of George Michael's sexuality had abounded for many years,
although he had been very secretive with his private life.
Most gay people instinctively "knew" and labeled him Coy
George, but his fans on the whole were oblivious. His Album,
"Older" 1996, dedicated to Anselmo Feleppa (his lover) and
some of the lyrics were great clues, but mainly went unnoticed
until his arrest in April 1998 when he was charged with "lewd
behaviour in a public lavatory" in the Will Rogers Memorial
Park, Beverly Hills.
as saying, "I feel stupid, reckless and weak for having
allowed my sexuality to be exposed in this way, but I don't
feel any shame whatsoever, and neither do I think I should.",
he, far from falling from grace, turned the situation to his
"outed", George became relaxed about his homosexuality and
spoke freely about it, even persuading the press to publicize
concerts for NetAid in return for frank interviews where he
would answer any questions. Prior to his arrest, George had
been overwrought with the death of two friends, Princess
Diana, and Gianni Versace; and his lover of two years, Anselmo
Feleppa, who had died from an AIDS related illness. His lover
is now Kenny Goss.
the many musical awards that George Michael has accrued over
the years there are the highest: Songwriter of the Year, and
the Dog, with its animated video depicting President Bush as a
fool and Blair as his lapdog, in early 2002 was very
controversial and upset many people both sides of the
Atlantic. Defending himself, Michael said the lyrics and
video were being misinterpreted, however, he does appear to
hold strong political views.