George Michael – English singer, songwriter and record producer transitioned on Sunday, December 25, 2016.
George Michael was born Georgios Kyriacos Panayiotou on June 25, 1963 in East Finchley, north London, UK.
Known professionally as ‘George Michael’, Michael rose to fame with his school friend Andrew Ridgeley in the 1980s after forming in 1981 one half of the pop music duo Wham! (The duo/group was briefly known as Wham! UK in the United States due to a naming conflict with an American band.) Wham! would enjoy success until their breakup in 1986.
Michael was best known in the 1980s and 1990s with his style of post-disco dance-pop and had been characterized as a blue-eyed soul singer before going solo. Much of his material however drew more from middle-of-the-road pop than it did from R&B/soul music.
The release of George Michael’s multi-million selling solo albums, Faith (1987), the follow-up Listen Without Prejudice Vol. 1 (1990) and Older (1996) were – and remain three of my often-played personal favorites from his solo efforts. As a solo artist, Michael sang music duets with such great R&B/soul music recording artists like Aretha Franklin (“I Knew You Were Waiting (for Me)”), [the late] Whitney Houston (“If I Told You That”) and sang with fellow English singer-songwriter, musician and composer Sir Elton John in a 1991 live concert performance covering John’s popular 1974 hit “Don’t Let The Sun Go Down on Me”. Additionally, Michael contributed background vocals to David Cassidy’s 1985 hit “The Last Kiss”, as well as to Elton John’s 1985 successes “Nikita” and “Wrap Her Up”.
Michael sang on the original anti-famine charity super-group Band Aid’s 1984 recording of “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” – which became a UK Christmas number one single. He donated the profits from Wham! songs “Last Christmas” and “Everything She Wants” to charity.
George Michael sold more than 100 million record albums worldwide throughout a career spanning almost four decades. He would win numerous music awards throughout his 35-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. He garnered seven number one singles in the UK and eight number one hits on the Billboard Hot 100 in the US. In 2008, Billboard Magazine ranked Michael the 40th most successful artist on the Billboard Hot 100 Top All Time Artists list.
As of this writing, many qualified news sources have reported – and Michael’s publicist has stated, that singer George Michael died peacefully at his home property in Goring, Oxfordshire, England, Sunday afternoon on December 25, 2016. He was 53.
Thank you, George Michael for sharing your wonderful talents and for your great contributions to the music industry. Rest in peace, my good man. We’ll greatly miss you but your music and contributions to society shall live on.
(Note: Excerpts of this transition bio were adapted from various sources.)
– RobFather X
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