1- George Michael, born Georgios Kyriacos Panayiotou on 25 June 1963 in the UK. Yes, he belongs to Cancer, the air sign. His dad, Kyriacos Panayiotou, was a Greek Cypriot restaurateur and his mum, Lesley Angold Harrison, was an English dancer. His maternal grandmother was Jewish.
2- His former Wham! colleague Andrew Ridgeley also turned fifty this year (January 26).
3- : He appeared on the inaugural MTV Europe Music Awards show in 1994.
4: “I Want Your Sex” was the first single from his debut solo album Faith released in 1987. It topped the charts in Ireland and the Netherlands.
5: In 1985 Wham! was the first Western pop group to tour in China, with a final concert held at the Workers’ Gymnasium in Beijing. The tour was documented in the film Foreign Skies: Wham! In China.
6- George Michael & Elton John
The ‘Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me’ duet with Elton John was recorded live at a 1991 concert at Wembley Arena in London.
7. He met Andrew Ridgeley at school when Ridgeley volunteered to tutor him. They formed a short-lived ska band called The Executive and in 1981 they launched Wham! and big blow-dried hair for guys became fashionable. You know who you are.
8. Their first album, Fantastic scored #1 in the UK. Wham! was the first Western popular music act to tour China ever and their experience is documented in the film Foreign Skies: Wham! In China. Wham!’s second album, Make It Big (1984), made the duo international superstars and the new gods of pop worshipped by millions of teenagers worldwide. Unfortunately, they eventually went bam and called it quits in 1986.
9. In 1984, Michael was part of the first ever Band Aid concert and sang on the charity song “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” for famine relief in Ethiopia. He is well known for his charity work but has yet to appear on the 46664 bill, we’re waiting George…
10. George Michael kicked off his solo career in 1987 with the Aretha Franklin duet “I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me)” . The song co-written with Simon Climie of Climie Fisher shot to number 1 in the UK and USA and bagged him a Grammy Award in 1988 for Best R&B Performance.
11. In that same year (1987) Michael released his first solo album, “Faith” which he wrote and produced. “I Want Your Sex” the first single was banned but reached #2 on the US Billboard Hot 100 singles chart. It is featured on the ‘Beverly Hills Cop II’ soundtrack and stars celebrity make-up artist Kathy Jeung. Kathy Jeung went on to become Michael’s girl friend when he cared to dabble in heterosexuality. It’s true!
12: He has been in a longtime partnership with Kenny Goss, with whom he runs the Goss-Michael Foundation, a nonprofit arts organization in Texas.
13: He is a southpaw, better known as left-handed.
14: His wedding gift to Prince William and Kate Middleton was a cover of Stevie Wonder’s 1972 song “You and I”, which was released in April 2011.
15: He once said: “I don’t want to look at other people my age in leather. Why would I put it on?”
16: This is Wham!’s debut on the long-running British music show “Top of the Pops”:
17. Second single, “Faith,” shot to #1 in the USA, and #2 in the UK. The video of him in shades, leather jacket and Levis has become iconic and a definitive image of the 80s music scene and fashion. Hands up on who wore torn jeans from then on.
18. In 1991 while on the Rio leg of his “Cover to Cover Tour” he met and fell in love with audience member Anselmo Feleppa. “Jesus to a Child” (1994) is a tribute to his lover who died in March 1993 of an AIDS-related brain haemorrhage.
19. Michael and Elton John perform “Don’t Let the Sun go down on me” for the first time at Michael’s concert in Wembley in 1991. The song was the only #1 scoring single of the modern era to be recorded at an outdoors venue. Proceeds were divided among charities for children, AIDS, and education.
20. “Fastlove” (1996) is written about Michael’s brief love affair with city banker Brett Charles whom he met in Kazakhstan and appears on Older (1996), the third studio album of his solo career.
21. Though Kenny Goss has been his partner since 1996, Michael openly admits that he cruises for anonymous sex. He was busted in 1998, by undercover cop Marcelo Rodríguez for soliciting sex in a men’s loo. Naughty Rodriguez sued Michael for US$10 million for defamation but lost the case. Michael hit back with the single “Outside”. The video features men dressed as policemen kissing. The incident forced Michael to reveal publicly that he was gay.
22: He was the third performer on the 1984 Band Aid single “Do They Know It’s Christmas?”
23: He accidentally fell out of a car travelling on the M1 motorway in England and was airlifted to hospital. He has since been discharged.
14: He released three studio albums while a member of Wham! and five as a solo artist.
25: He has reportedly admitted that he called Justin Timberlake and invited him to recreate the Madonna/Britney Spears kiss. Timberlake hasn’t called back.
26: He was seriously considered as a replacement for Queen front man Freddie Mercury.
27: 1995’s “Jesus to a Child” not only gave him his first solo single to enter the UK charts at the top, but also the first solo number one from a studio album.
28: During his career, he has won 21 music awards from a grand total of 49 nominations.
29: He was born in East Finchley, north London, which has the postal code N2.
30: He has been in seven car crashes and is currently banned from driving.
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