George Michael
Overview
George Michael is a British musician, singer, songwriter and record producer who rose to fame in the 1980s when he formed the pop duo Wham!
WHAM!
Wham! were a short-lived British musical duo formed by George Michael and Andrew Ridgeley in the early 1980s. They were briefly known in the United States as Wham! UK due to a naming conflict with an American band....

 with his school friend, Andrew Ridgeley
Andrew Ridgeley
Andrew John Ridgeley is an English former pop singer-songwriter, guitarist and environmentalist. Andrew was a member of the 1980s pop music duo Wham!.-Early life:...

. His first solo single, "Careless Whisper
Careless Whisper
"Careless Whisper" is a 1984 single by George Michael , released by Epic Records in the UK, Japan, and other countries; and by Columbia Records in North America. The song was George Michael's first solo single although he was still performing in Wham! at the time...

", was released when he was still in the duo and sold about six million copies worldwide.

As one of the world's best-selling music artists, Michael has sold over 100 million records worldwide as of 2010.
Encyclopedia
George Michael is a British musician, singer, songwriter and record producer who rose to fame in the 1980s when he formed the pop duo Wham!
WHAM!
Wham! were a short-lived British musical duo formed by George Michael and Andrew Ridgeley in the early 1980s. They were briefly known in the United States as Wham! UK due to a naming conflict with an American band....

 with his school friend, Andrew Ridgeley
Andrew Ridgeley
Andrew John Ridgeley is an English former pop singer-songwriter, guitarist and environmentalist. Andrew was a member of the 1980s pop music duo Wham!.-Early life:...

. His first solo single, "Careless Whisper
Careless Whisper
"Careless Whisper" is a 1984 single by George Michael , released by Epic Records in the UK, Japan, and other countries; and by Columbia Records in North America. The song was George Michael's first solo single although he was still performing in Wham! at the time...

", was released when he was still in the duo and sold about six million copies worldwide.

As one of the world's best-selling music artists, Michael has sold over 100 million records worldwide as of 2010. His 1987 debut solo album, Faith
Faith (George Michael album)
Faith is George Michael's first solo album, released in October 1987 via Columbia Records/Epic Records. The album has won several awards including the Grammy Award for Album of the Year in 1989. To date, the album has sold over 25 million copies worldwide, and received diamond certification from...

, has sold over 25 million copies worldwide and made several records and achievements in the United States. Michael has garnered seven number one singles in the UK and eight number one hits on the Billboard Hot 100
Billboard Hot 100
The Billboard Hot 100 is the United States music industry standard singles popularity chart issued weekly by Billboard magazine. Chart rankings are based on radio play and sales; the tracking-week for sales begins on Monday and ends on Sunday, while the radio play tracking-week runs from Wednesday...

 in the US. In 2008, Billboard magazine ranked Michael the 40th most successful artist on the "The Billboard Hot 100 Top All-Time Artists".

Michael has won numerous 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
Ivor Novello Awards
The Ivor Novello Awards, named after the Cardiff born entertainer Ivor Novello, are awards for songwriting and composing. They are presented annually in London by the British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors and were first introduced in 1955.Nicknamed The Ivors, the awards take place...

, three American Music Awards
American Music Awards
-Conception:The AMAs were created by Dick Clark in 1973 to compete with the Grammys after the move of that year's show to Nashville, Tennessee led to CBS picking up the Grammy telecasts after its first two in 1971 and 1972 were broadcast on ABC...

, and two Grammy Award
Grammy Award
A Grammy Award — or Grammy — is an accolade by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences of the United States to recognize outstanding achievement in the music industry...

s from eight nominations.

In 2004, the Radio Academy
Radio Academy
The Radio Academy is a registered charity that is dedicated to 'the encouragement, recognition and promotion of excellence in UK broadcasting and audio production'....

 named Michael as the most played artist on British radio between the period of 1984–2004. The documentary A Different Story was released in 2005; it covered his personal life and professional career. In 2006, George Michael announced his first tour in 15 years. The 25 Live
25 Live
25 Live was a concert tour by English singer / songwriter George Michael. The tour was the most commercially successful tour of 2006–2007 in Europe. The tour has grossed over $200 million, with positive reviews from music critics. The 106 tour shows were performed in 41 countries and seen by 2...

 tour was a massive, worldwide undertaking by Michael, spanning three individual tours over the course of three years (2006, 2007 and 2008).

Early life

Michael was born Georgios Kyriacos Panagiotou in East Finchley
East Finchley
East Finchley is a suburb in the London Borough of Barnet, in north London, and situated north-west of Charing Cross. Geographically it is somewhat separate from the rest of Finchley, with North Finchley and West Finchley to the north, and Finchley Central to the west.- History :The land on which...

, North London
North London
North London is the northern part of London, England. It is an imprecise description and the area it covers is defined differently for a range of purposes. Common to these definitions is that it includes districts located north of the River Thames and is used in comparison with South...

. His father, Kyriacos Panagiotou, a Greek Cypriot
Greek Cypriots
Greek Cypriots are the ethnic Greek population of Cyprus, forming the island's largest ethnolinguistic community at 77% of the population. Greek Cypriots are mostly members of the Church of Cyprus, an autocephalous Greek Orthodox Church within the wider communion of Orthodox Christianity...

 restaurateur, moved to England in the 1950s and changed his name to Jack Panos. Michael's mother, Lesley Angold (née Harrison, 1937–1997), was an English dancer who died from cancer in Fulham
Fulham
Fulham is an area of southwest London in the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham, SW6 located south west of Charing Cross. It lies on the left bank of the Thames, between Putney and Chelsea. The area is identified in the London Plan as one of 35 major centres in Greater London...

. Michael spent the majority of his childhood in North London, in the home his parents bought soon after his birth. While in his early teens, the family moved to Radlett
Radlett
Radlett is a small town in the county of Hertfordshire between St Albans and Borehamwood on Watling Street with a population of approximately 8,000. It is located in the council district of Hertsmere and is covered by two wards, Aldenham East and Aldenham West...

. There Michael attended the Bushey Meads School
Bushey Meads School
Bushey Meads School is a foundation secondary school in Bushey, Hertfordshire, UK. The current head teacher is Mr Keith Douglas, B.A. Hons, M.A., who started as a new member of staff in the school in December 2005....

, where he met Andrew Ridgeley
Andrew Ridgeley
Andrew John Ridgeley is an English former pop singer-songwriter, guitarist and environmentalist. Andrew was a member of the 1980s pop music duo Wham!.-Early life:...

. The two had the same career ambition of being musicians.

His involvement in the music business began with his working as a DJ, playing at clubs and local schools around Bushey, Stanmore and Watford. This was followed by the formation of a short-lived ska band called The Executive with Ridgeley, Ridgeley's brother Paul, Andrew Leaver, and David Mortimer (aka David Austin
David Austin (singer)
David Austin is a professional songwriter from the United Kingdom, who first had a hit single in 1984 called "Turn to Gold", released on Parlophone. It entered the UK Singles Chart on 21 July 1984. It remained in the chart for three weeks, reaching #68...

).

1981–1986: Wham!

Michael first found success after forming the duo Wham! with Andrew Ridgeley
Andrew Ridgeley
Andrew John Ridgeley is an English former pop singer-songwriter, guitarist and environmentalist. Andrew was a member of the 1980s pop music duo Wham!.-Early life:...

 in 1981. The band's first album Fantastic reached no. 1 in the UK and produced a series of top 10 singles including "Young Guns (Go For It!)", "Wham Rap! (Enjoy What You Do)
Wham Rap! (Enjoy What You Do)
"Wham Rap! "' is a 1982 song by British pop duo Wham! on Innervision Records. It was written by Wham! members George Michael and Andrew Ridgeley....

" and "Club Tropicana
Club Tropicana
"Club Tropicana" is a song by British pop duo Wham!, released in 1983 on Innervision Records. It was written by George Michael and Andrew Ridgeley....

". Their second album, Make It Big, was the breakthrough that made the duo international superstars, reaching No. 1 on the charts in the US Singles from that album included "Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go", "Freedom
Freedom (Wham! song)
"Freedom" is a song by British pop duo Wham! in 1984, becoming the group's second UK #1 hit. It was written by George Michael, one half of the duo.-History:...

", "Everything She Wants
Everything She Wants
"Everything She Wants" is a song by British pop duo Wham!, released in 1984 on Epic Records on a double A-side with "Last Christmas". It was written by George Michael, one half of the duo.- History :...

", and "Careless Whisper
Careless Whisper
"Careless Whisper" is a 1984 single by George Michael , released by Epic Records in the UK, Japan, and other countries; and by Columbia Records in North America. The song was George Michael's first solo single although he was still performing in Wham! at the time...

", the latter of which was Michael's first solo effort as a single.

Michael sang on the original Band Aid
Band Aid (band)
Band Aid was a charity supergroup featuring British and Irish musicians and recording artists. It was founded in 1984 by Bob Geldof and Midge Ure to raise money for famine relief in Ethiopia by releasing the song "Do They Know It's Christmas?" for the Christmas market that year. The single...

 recording of "Do They Know It's Christmas?
Do They Know It's Christmas?
"Do They Know It's Christmas?" is a song written by Bob Geldof and Midge Ure in 1984 to raise money for relief of the 1984–1985 famine in Ethiopia. The original version was produced by Midge Ure and released by Band Aid on 29 November 1984....

" and donated the profits from "Last Christmas
Last Christmas
"Last Christmas" is a song by British pop duo Wham!, released on Epic Records in 1984, on a double A-side with "Everything She Wants". It was written by George Michael, one half of the duo...

/Everything She Wants" to charity
Charitable trust
A charitable trust is an irrevocable trust established for charitable purposes, and is a more specific term than "charitable organization".-United States:...

. In addition, he contributed background vocals to David Cassidy
David Cassidy
David Bruce Cassidy is an American actor, singer, songwriter and guitarist. He is best known for his role as the character of Keith Partridge in the 1970s musical/sitcom The Partridge Family. He was one of pop culture's most celebrated teen idols, enjoying a successful pop career in the 1970s, and...

's 1985 hit "The Last Kiss", as well as Elton John's 1985 successes "Nikita
Nikita (song)
"Nikita" is a song by English singer Elton John about the Cold War from his 1985 album Ice on Fire. Released in late 1985, the song achieved success in many countries, becoming a top ten hit in almost all of them.-Song synopsis:...

" and "Wrap Her Up
Wrap Her Up
"Wrap Her Up" is a song on English pop-rock performer Elton John's 1985 album, Ice on Fire. George Michael duets on the song. The song reached number twenty....

".

Wham!'s tour of China in April 1985, the first visit to China by a Western popular music act, generated enormous worldwide media coverage, much of it centred on Michael. The tour was documented by celebrated film director Lindsay Anderson
Lindsay Anderson
Lindsay Gordon Anderson was an Indian-born, British feature film, theatre and documentary director, film critic, and leading light of the Free Cinema movement and the British New Wave...

 and producer Martin Lewis in their film Foreign Skies: Wham! In China and contributed to Michael's ever-increasing fame.

With the success of Michael's solo singles, "Careless Whisper
Careless Whisper
"Careless Whisper" is a 1984 single by George Michael , released by Epic Records in the UK, Japan, and other countries; and by Columbia Records in North America. The song was George Michael's first solo single although he was still performing in Wham! at the time...

" (1984) and "A Different Corner
A Different Corner
"A Different Corner" is a song written and performed by George Michael which was released on Epic Records in 1986.- History :...

" (1986), rumours of an impending break up of Wham! intensified. The duo officially separated during the summer of 1986, after releasing a farewell single, "The Edge of Heaven
The Edge of Heaven
"The Edge of Heaven" is a song by British pop duo Wham!, released on Epic Records in 1986. It was written by George Michael, one half of the duo, and was promoted in advance as Wham!'s farewell single.-History:...

" 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.

Solo career

The beginning of his solo career, during early 1987, was a duet with soul music icon Aretha Franklin
Aretha Franklin
Aretha Louise Franklin is an American singer, songwriter, and pianist. Although known for her soul recordings and referred to as The Queen of Soul, Franklin is also adept at jazz, blues, R&B, gospel music, and rock. Rolling Stone magazine ranked her atop its list of The Greatest Singers of All...

. "I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me)
I Knew You Were Waiting (for Me)
"I Knew You Were Waiting " is a song performed by Aretha Franklin and George Michael as a duet in 1987. It was written by Simon Climie and Dennis Morgan.-Music video:...

" 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
UK Singles Chart
The UK Singles Chart is compiled by The Official Charts Company on behalf of the British record-industry. The full chart contains the top selling 200 singles in the United Kingdom based upon combined record sales and download numbers, though some media outlets only list the Top 40 or the Top 75 ...

 and the Billboard Hot 100
Billboard Hot 100
The Billboard Hot 100 is the United States music industry standard singles popularity chart issued weekly by Billboard magazine. Chart rankings are based on radio play and sales; the tracking-week for sales begins on Monday and ends on Sunday, while the radio play tracking-week runs from Wednesday...

 upon its release.

For Michael, it became his third consecutive solo number one in the UK from three releases, after 1984's "Careless Whisper
Careless Whisper
"Careless Whisper" is a 1984 single by George Michael , released by Epic Records in the UK, Japan, and other countries; and by Columbia Records in North America. The song was George Michael's first solo single although he was still performing in Wham! at the time...

" (though the single was actually from the Wham! album Make It Big) and 1986's "A Different Corner
A Different Corner
"A Different Corner" is a song written and performed by George Michael which was released on Epic Records in 1986.- History :...

". The single was also the first Michael had recorded as a solo artist which he had not written himself. The co-writer, Simon Climie
Simon Climie
Simon Climie is a songwriter/producer and the former lead singer of the UK pop duo Climie Fisher, who had hits with "Love Changes " and "Rise to the Occasion"....

, was unknown at the time, although he would have success as a performer with the band Climie Fisher
Climie Fisher
Climie Fisher were a UK pop duo formed by vocalist Simon Climie and former Naked Eyes keyboardist Rob Fisher...

 in 1988.
Michael and Aretha Franklin won a Grammy Award
Grammy Award
A Grammy Award — or Grammy — is an accolade by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences of the United States to recognize outstanding achievement in the music industry...

 in 1988 for Best R&B Performance – Duo or Group with Vocal for the song.

1987–1989: Faith

During the autumn of 1987, Michael released his first solo album, Faith
Faith (George Michael album)
Faith is George Michael's first solo album, released in October 1987 via Columbia Records/Epic Records. The album has won several awards including the Grammy Award for Album of the Year in 1989. To date, the album has sold over 25 million copies worldwide, and received diamond certification from...

. In addition to playing a large number of instruments on the album, he wrote and produced every track on the recording, except for one, which he co-wrote.

The first single released from the album was "I Want Your Sex
I Want Your Sex
"I Want Your Sex" was a single which first charted in June 1987, appearing on George Michael's Faith album, and the soundtrack to Beverly Hills Cop II....

," during the summer of 1987. The song was banned by many radio stations in the UK and US, due to its sexually suggestive lyrics. MTV would broadcast the video, featuring celebrity make-up artist Kathy Jeung in a basque and suspenders, only during the late night hours. Michael argued that the act was beautiful if the sex was monogamous. Michael even recorded a brief prologue for the video in which he said: "This song is not about casual sex." One of the racier scenes involved Michael writing the words "explore monogamy" on his partner's back in lipstick. Some radio stations played a toned-down version of the song, "I Want Your Love," which was mainly the word "love" replacing "sex." When the tune reached the US charts, American Top 40
American Top 40
American Top 40 is an internationally syndicated, independent radio program created by Casey Kasem, Don Bustany, Tom Rounds and Ron Jacobs. Originally a production of Watermark Inc...

 host Casey Kasem
Casey Kasem
Kemal Amin "Casey" Kasem is an American radio personality and voice actor who is best known for being the host of the nationally syndicated Top 40 countdown show American Top 40, and for voicing Shaggy in the popular Saturday morning cartoon franchise Scooby-Doo.Kasem, along with Don Bustany and...

 refused to say the song's title, referring to it only as "the new single by George Michael." In the US, the song was also sometimes listed as "I Want Your Sex (from 'Beverly Hills Cop II)," since the song was featured on the soundtrack of the movie.

Despite censorship and radio play problems, "I Want Your Sex" reached No.2 on the US Billboard Hot 100 singles chart and at No.3 in Britain.

The second single, "Faith
Faith (George Michael song)
"Faith" is a #1 song, written and performed by George Michael, released as a single on Columbia Records, from his 1987 Faith album. According to Billboard magazine, it was the top-selling single of the year in the United States in 1988....

", was released during October 1987, just a few weeks before the album. "Faith" would become one of his most popular songs. The song hit No.1 on the Billboard Hot 100 in the US and maintained that position for four consecutive weeks. It also reached no.2 in the UK singles chart. The famous video provided some definitive images of the 1980s music industry in the process—Michael in shades, leather jacket, cowboy boots, and Levi's
Levi Strauss & Co.
Levi Strauss & Co. is a privately held American clothing company known worldwide for its Levi's brand of denim jeans. It was founded in 1853 when Levi Strauss came from Buttenheim, Franconia, to San Francisco, California to open a west coast branch of his brothers' New York dry goods business...

 jeans, playing a guitar near a classic-design jukebox. On 30 October, Faith was released in the UK and in several markets worldwide. In the United States, the album had 51 non-consecutive weeks in the Top 10 of Billboard 200
Billboard 200
The Billboard 200 is a ranking of the 200 highest-selling music albums and EPs in the United States, published weekly by Billboard magazine. It is frequently used to convey the popularity of an artist or groups of artists...

, including 12 weeks at no.1. "Faith" had many successes, four of which ("Faith," "Father Figure", "One More Try
One More Try (George Michael song)
"One More Try" is a U.S. number-one hit song written and performed by George Michael and released by Epic Records in 1988 as the fourth single from Faith.-History:...

", and "Monkey
Monkey (song)
"Monkey" is a US number-one hit song by George Michael. It was released as a single in 1988 and reached #1 on the US Hot 100 and #13 on the UK Singles Chart. "Monkey" debuted at #42 on 9 July 1988, reaching #1 for two weeks, beginning 27 August 1988....

") reached no. 1. Eventually, "Faith" received Diamond certification by the RIAA
Recording Industry Association of America
The Recording Industry Association of America is a trade organization that represents the recording industry distributors in the United States...

 for sales of 10 million copies in the US. To date, global sales of Faith are more than 25 million units.

In 1988, Michael embarked on a world tour. The nightly set list included from the Wham! era "Everything She Wants
Everything She Wants
"Everything She Wants" is a song by British pop duo Wham!, released in 1984 on Epic Records on a double A-side with "Last Christmas". It was written by George Michael, one half of the duo.- History :...

" and "I'm Your Man", as well as covers of "Lady Marmalade
Lady Marmalade
"Lady Marmalade" was also covered by Italian pop star Sabrina. It was released in 1987 as the album's second single by Baby Records. In some countries, including France and the Netherlands, the song was known as "Voulez-vous coucher avec moi? " and was released in 1988.-Track listings:7" maxi#...

" or "Play That Funky Music
Play That Funky Music
"Play That Funky Music" is a funk song written by Robert Parissi and recorded by the band Wild Cherry. The performers on the classic recording included the members of the band at the time: lead singer Parissi, guitarist Bryan Bassett, bassist Allen Wentz, and drummer Ron Beitle, with session horn...

". In Los Angeles, California, Michael was joined on stage by Aretha Franklin
Aretha Franklin
Aretha Louise Franklin is an American singer, songwriter, and pianist. Although known for her soul recordings and referred to as The Queen of Soul, Franklin is also adept at jazz, blues, R&B, gospel music, and rock. Rolling Stone magazine ranked her atop its list of The Greatest Singers of All...

 for "I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me)
I Knew You Were Waiting (for Me)
"I Knew You Were Waiting " is a song performed by Aretha Franklin and George Michael as a duet in 1987. It was written by Simon Climie and Dennis Morgan.-Music video:...

". It was the second highest grossing event of 1988, earning $17.7 million. According to Michael in his film, A Different Story, success did not make him happy and he started to think there was something wrong in being an idol for millions of teenage girls. The whole Faith process (promotion, videos, tour, awards) left him exhausted, lonely and frustrated, and far from his friends and family. In 1990, he told his record company Sony that, for his second album, he did not want to do promotions like the one for Faith.

1990–1992: Listen Without Prejudice

Listen Without Prejudice Vol. 1 was released in September 1990. For this album, Michael tried to create a new reputation as a serious-minded artist; the title is an indication of his desire to be taken more seriously as a songwriter. Michael refused to make any kind of promotion for this album, including no music videos for the singles released. The first single, "Praying for Time
Praying for Time
"Praying for Time" is a U.S. number-one song written and performed by George Michael, released on Epic Records in 1990. It spent one week in the number one spot on the Billboard Hot 100, and was the last solo single from Michael to occupy the top of the chart in the US.-History:The song was...

", was released in August 1990. It concerned social ills and injustice; the song was an instant success, reaching No. 6 in the UK and No. 1 on the US Billboard Hot 100, despite the absence of a video. A video was released shortly thereafter, consisting of the lyrics on a dark background. Michael did not appear in this video or any subsequent videos for the album.

The second single "Waiting for That Day
Waiting For That Day
"Waiting for That Day" was a song performed and largely written by George Michael which was released on Epic Records in 1990 in the UK and on Columbia Records in 1991 in the US....

" was an acoustic-heavy single, released as an immediate follow-up to "Praying For Time". It reached No. 27 in the US and No. 23 in the UK in October 1990. The album was released in Europe on 3 September 1990 (and one week later in the United States). It reached No. 1 in the UK Albums Chart and peaked at No. 2 on the U.S Billboard 200. It spent a total of 88 weeks on the UK album charts and was certified 4 times Platinum by the BPI. The album produced 5 UK singles, which were released quickly, within an at eight-month period: "Praying For Time", "Waiting For That Day", "Freedom! '90
Freedom! '90
"Freedom '90" is a song written and performed by George Michael, and released on Columbia Records in 1990. The "'90" added to the end of the title is to prevent confusion with an international hit by Michael's former band, Wham!, also titled "Freedom".It was the third single taken from Listen...

", "Heal the Pain
Heal The Pain
"Heal the Pain" was a song written and performed by George Michael and released on Epic Records in 1991.A contemplative, acoustic guitar-based love song, it was the fourth of five UK singles taken from the album Listen Without Prejudice Vol. 1....

", and "Cowboys and Angels
Cowboys And Angels
"Cowboys and Angels" is a song written and performed by George Michael and released on Epic Records in 1991. Among other things, the song is notable for being written in Waltz time....

" (the latter being his only single not to chart in the UK top 40).

"Freedom '90" was the second of only two of its singles to be supported by a music video (the other being the Michael-less "Praying for Time"). The song alludes to his struggles with his artistic identity, and prophesied his efforts shortly thereafter to end his recording contract with Sony Music. As if to prove the song's sentiment, Michael refused to appear in the video (directed by David Fincher
David Fincher
David Andrew Leo Fincher is an American film and music video director. Known for his dark and stylish thrillers, such as Seven , The Game , Fight Club , Panic Room , and Zodiac , Fincher received Academy Award nominations for Best Director for his 2008 film The Curious Case of Benjamin Button and...

), and instead recruited supermodels Naomi Campbell
Naomi Campbell
Naomi Campbell is a British model. Scouted at the age of 15, she established herself among the top three most recognisable and in-demand models of the late 1980s and early 1990s, and she was one of six models of her generation declared "supermodels" by the fashion world...

, Linda Evangelista
Linda Evangelista
Linda Evangelista is a Canadian model. She has been featured on over 600 magazine covers and has garnered work on numerous modeling assignments with companies, most recently with L'Oréal.- Early years :...

, Christy Turlington
Christy Turlington
Christy Turlington Burns is an American model best known for representing Calvin Klein from 1987 to 2007. She has worked on dozens of modeling contracts with companies including Maybelline Cosmetics and Versace. Turlington starred in her fashion documentary Catwalk and Isaac Mizrahi's Unzipped...

, Tatjana Patitz
Tatjana Patitz
Tatjana Patitz is a German model and actress who rose to international prominence in the 1980s and 1990s, representing top fashion designers, campaigns, and collections, and who continues to model today.-Modelling career:...

, and Cindy Crawford
Cindy Crawford
Cynthia Ann "Cindy" Crawford is an American model. Known for her trademark mole just above her lip, Crawford has adorned hundreds of magazine covers throughout her career. She was named #3 on VH1's 40 Hottest Hotties of the 90s...

 to appear in and lip sync
Lip sync
Lip sync, lip-sync, lip-synch is a technical term for matching lip movements with sung or spoken vocals...

 in his stead. It also featured the reduction of his sex symbol status. It had contrasting fortunes on each side of the Atlantic—a No.8 success on the Billboard Hot 100 in the US, but only No.28 on the UK singles chart. "Mother's Pride" gained significant radio play in the United States during the first Persian Gulf War during 1991, often with radio stations mixing in callers' tributes to soldiers with the music. It reached No.46 on Billboard Hot 100 with only airplay. In the end, Listen Without Prejudice Vol. 1 sold approximately 8 million copies.

In 1991, George Michael embarked on the "Cover to Cover Tour
Cover to Cover tour
In 1991 George Michael embarked in the "Cover to Cover Tour" in United Kingdom, Brazil, Japan, Canada and the United States.The tour was not a proper promotion for Listen Without Prejudice Vol. 1. Rather, it was more about George singing his favourite cover songs...

" in Japan, England, the US, and Brazil, where he performed at the "Rock in Rio
Rock in Rio
Rock in Rio is a series of music festivals held in three cities: Rio de Janeiro in Brazil, Lisbon in Portugal and Madrid in Spain.Four incarnations of the festival were in Rio de Janeiro, in 1985, 1991, 2001 and 2011, four in Lisbon, in 2004, 2006, 2008 and 2010, and two in Madrid in 2008 and 2010....

" event. In the audience in Rio, he saw and later met Anselmo Feleppa, the man who would become his partner. The tour was not a proper promotion for Listen Without Prejudice Vol. 1. Rather, it was more about Michael singing his favourite cover songs. Among his favourites was "Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me
Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me
"Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me" is the first single from British musician Elton John's 1974 album Caribou; it was released that year during the latter half of May in the United Kingdom, and on 10 June in the United States.-Lyrics and music:...

," a 1974 song by Elton John
Elton John
Sir Elton Hercules John, CBE, Hon DMus is an English rock singer-songwriter, composer, pianist and occasional actor...

; Michael and John had performed the song together at the Live Aid
Live Aid
Live Aid was a dual-venue concert that was held on 13 July 1985. The event was organized by Bob Geldof and Midge Ure to raise funds for relief of the ongoing Ethiopian famine. Billed as the "global jukebox", the event was held simultaneously in Wembley Stadium in London, England, United Kingdom ...

 concert in 1985, and again for Michael's concert at London's Wembley Arena
Wembley Arena
Wembley Arena is an indoor arena, at Wembley, in the London Borough of Brent. The building is opposite Wembley Stadium.-History:...

 on 25 March 1991, where the duet was recorded. The single was released at the end of 1991 and became a success on both sides of the Atlantic.

In the meantime, the expected follow-up album, Listen Without Prejudice Vol. 2, was scrapped due to Michael's lawsuit
George Michael Vs Sony
George Michael vs. Sony was a lawsuit against Sony Music filed by George Michael, an English singer/songwriter who performs pop-oriented soul.-The lawsuit:Alleging "Restraint of Trade," Michael filed suit against Sony Music in 1993...

 with Sony
Sony Music Entertainment
Sony Music Entertainment ' is the second-largest global recorded music company of the "big four" record companies and is controlled by Sony Corporation of America, the United States subsidiary of Japan's Sony Corporation....

. Among Michael's complaints was that Sony had not completely supported the release of his second album, resulting in its poor performance in the US as compared to Faith
Faith (George Michael album)
Faith is George Michael's first solo album, released in October 1987 via Columbia Records/Epic Records. The album has won several awards including the Grammy Award for Album of the Year in 1989. To date, the album has sold over 25 million copies worldwide, and received diamond certification from...

. Sony responded that Michael's refusal to appear in promotional videos had caused the bad response. Michael ended the idea for Listen Without Prejudice Vol. 2 and donated three songs to the charity project Red Hot + Dance
Red Hot + Dance
Red Hot + Dance is an album produced by the Red Hot Organization, an organization dedicated to raising money and awareness to fight the onslaught of HIV/AIDS....

, for the Red Hot Organization
Red Hot Organization
Red Hot Organization is a not-for-profit, 501 3, international organization dedicated to fighting AIDS through pop culture.Since its inception in 1989, over 400 artists, producers and directors have contributed to over 15 compilation albums, related television programs and media events to raise...

 which raised money for AIDS awareness, while a fourth track "Crazyman Dance" was the B-side of 1992's "Too Funky
Too Funky
"Too Funky" is a song written and performed by English singer George Michael and released by Columbia Records in the United States and Epic Records elsewhere in 1992.-History:...

". Michael donated the royalties from "Too Funky" to the same cause.
The song did not appear on any George Michael studio album, although later it was included on his solo collections Ladies & Gentlemen: The Best of George Michael
Ladies & Gentlemen: The Best of George Michael
Ladies & Gentlemen: The Best of George Michael is a greatest hits collection released by George Michael in 1998.The collection of 28 songs are separated into two halves, with each CD of the double set containing music of a particular theme and mood...

 in 1998 and Twenty Five
Twenty Five (album)
Twenty Five is singer George Michael's 2006 greatest hits album, which celebrates the 25th anniversary of his music career. It was released on 13 November 2006 via Sony BMG...

 in 2006. The video featured Michael (sporadically) as a director filming supermodels Linda Evangelista
Linda Evangelista
Linda Evangelista is a Canadian model. She has been featured on over 600 magazine covers and has garnered work on numerous modeling assignments with companies, most recently with L'Oréal.- Early years :...

, Beverly Peele
Beverly Peele
Beverly Peele is an American model and actress. Peele rose to fame in the late 1980s and 1990s, appearing mostly in Mademoiselle and Elle magazine. She appeared on about a dozen fashion magazine covers.-Career:...

, Estelle Lefébure and Nadja Auermann
Nadja Auermann
Nadja Auermann is a German model and actress. Fashion designer Valentino once commented on her physical resemblance to Marlene Dietrich. A New York Times fashion columnist, Guy Trebay, wrote of her "ice maiden visage and pole vaulter's legs".-Biography:Auermann arrived in Paris in 1990, signing...

 at a fashion show. "Too Funky
Too Funky
"Too Funky" is a song written and performed by English singer George Michael and released by Columbia Records in the United States and Epic Records elsewhere in 1992.-History:...

" was a success, reaching number 4 in the UK singles chart and number 10 in the US Billboard Hot 100.

1993: Five Live

George Michael performed at The Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert
The Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert
The Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert for AIDS Awareness was an open-air concert held on Easter Monday, 20 April 1992 at London's Wembley Stadium, for an audience of 72,000. The concert was produced for television by Ray Burdis and broadcast live on television and radio to 76 countries around the...

 on 20 April 1992 at London's Wembley Stadium. The concert was a tribute to the life of the late Queen
Queen (band)
Queen are a British rock band formed in London in 1971, originally consisting of Freddie Mercury , Brian May , John Deacon , and Roger Taylor...

 frontman, Freddie Mercury
Freddie Mercury
Freddie Mercury was a British musician, singer and songwriter, best known as the lead vocalist of the rock band Queen. As a performer, he was known for his flamboyant stage persona and powerful vocals over a four-octave range...

, with some proceeds going to AIDS research. Michael performed "'39" and "Somebody to Love
Somebody to Love (Queen song)
"Somebody to Love" is a song by British rock band Queen. Written by lead vocalist and pianist Freddie Mercury, the track featured on their 1976 album A Day at the Races, and also appears on the band's compilation album, Greatest Hits...

". The performance of the latter was released on the "Five Live" EP.

Five Live, released in 1993 for Parlophone
Parlophone
Parlophone is a record label that was founded in Germany in 1896 by the Carl Lindström Company as Parlophon. The British branch was formed in 1923 as "Parlophone" which developed a reputation in the 1920s as a leading jazz label. It was acquired in 1927 by the Columbia Graphophone Company which...

 in the UK and Hollywood Records
Hollywood Records
Hollywood Records is an American record label owned by Disney Music Group, a subsidiary of the Walt Disney Company.-History:Hollywood Records was founded in 1989 by then-Disney CEO Michael Eisner with the idea of expanding the music operations of the company and to develop and promote...

 in the US, features five—and in some countries, six—tracks performed by George Michael, Queen, and Lisa Stansfield
Lisa Stansfield
Lisa Stansfield is an English singer and songwriter.-Early years:Stansfield was born to Marion and Keith Stansfield in Heywood, Lancashire, in England, where she attended Redbrook School, Rochdale. Her first television appearance was on a talent programme in the Granada TV area in 1982...

."Somebody to Love
Somebody to Love (Queen song)
"Somebody to Love" is a song by British rock band Queen. Written by lead vocalist and pianist Freddie Mercury, the track featured on their 1976 album A Day at the Races, and also appears on the band's compilation album, Greatest Hits...

" and "These Are the Days of Our Lives
These Are the Days of Our Lives
"These Are the Days of Our Lives" is a song by English rock band Queen. It was written largely by their drummer Roger Taylor, and is the eighth track on the band's 1991 album Innuendo. It is harmonically and structurally one of the simplest songs of the band's catalogue...

" were recorded at the Freddie Mercury
Freddie Mercury
Freddie Mercury was a British musician, singer and songwriter, best known as the lead vocalist of the rock band Queen. As a performer, he was known for his flamboyant stage persona and powerful vocals over a four-octave range...

 Tribute Concert. "Killer
Killer (Adamski song)
"Killer" is a song by Adamski and Seal. Written by Adam Tinley and Seal and produced by Adamski, "Killer" was Adamski's breakthrough single, but is now more notable for introducing Seal as a vocalist. A major hit in the UK, it reached number one, spending four weeks at the top of the chart in May...

", "Papa Was a Rollin' Stone
Papa Was a Rollin' Stone
"Papa Was a Rollin' Stone" is a soul song, written by Motown songwriters Norman Whitfield and Barrett Strong as a single for Motown act The Undisputed Truth in 1971...

", and "Calling You
Calling You
"Calling You" is an Academy Award nominated song from the Bagdad Café movie. Originally, it was recorded by Jevetta Steele. Bob Telson who wrote the song also recorded his version. Both appeared on the movie soundtrack in 1987.- Céline Dion version :...

" were all live performances recorded during his "Cover to Cover Tour" from 1991. Michael's performances of "Somebody to Love" was hailed as "one of best performances of the tribute concert". The idea of having George Michael take over as full-time lead singer of Queen was even given serious consideration.

All proceeds from the sale of the EP benefited the Mercury Phoenix Trust. Sales of the EP were very strong through Europe, where it debuted at number 1 in the UK and several European countries. Chart success in the United States was less spectacular, where it peaked at number 40 on the Billboard 200 ("Somebody to Love" reached No.30 on the US Billboard Hot 100
Billboard Hot 100
The Billboard Hot 100 is the United States music industry standard singles popularity chart issued weekly by Billboard magazine. Chart rankings are based on radio play and sales; the tracking-week for sales begins on Monday and ends on Sunday, while the radio play tracking-week runs from Wednesday...

).

1994–1997: Older

During November 1994, after a long period of seclusion, George Michael appeared at the first MTV Europe Music Awards
MTV Europe Music Awards
The MTV Europe Music Awards were established in 1994 by MTV Networks Europe to celebrate the most popular music videos in Europe. Originally beginning as an alternative to the American MTV Video Music Awards, the MTV Europe Music Awards is today a popular celebration of what MTV viewers consider...

 show, where he gave a touching performance of a brand-new song, "Jesus to a Child
Jesus to a Child
"Jesus to a Child" is a song by British musician George Michael. The song peaked at number 1 in Britain and Australia, and at number 2 in the mainland European charts. The song has also become George Michael's highest direct entry in the American charts. The song is one of George Michael's...

". The song was a melancholy tribute to his lover, Anselmo Feleppa, who had died in March 1993.

The song was Michael's first self-penned success in his homeland in almost four years; it entered the UK singles chart at No. 1 and No. 7 on Billboard in the same month of release. It was also Michael's longest UK Top 40 single, at almost seven minutes long. The exact identity of the song's subject—and the nature of Michael's relationship with Feleppa—was shrouded in innuendo
Innuendo
An innuendo is a baseless invention of thoughts or ideas. It can also be a remark or question, typically disparaging , that works obliquely by allusion...

 and speculation, as Michael had not confirmed he was homosexual and did not do so until 1998. The video for "Jesus to a Child
Jesus to a Child
"Jesus to a Child" is a song by British musician George Michael. The song peaked at number 1 in Britain and Australia, and at number 2 in the mainland European charts. The song has also become George Michael's highest direct entry in the American charts. The song is one of George Michael's...

" was a picture of images recalling loss, pain and suffering. Michael consistently dedicates the song to Feleppa before performing it live.

The second single, released in April 1996, was "Fastlove
Fastlove
"Fastlove" is a song by George Michael, released by Virgin Records in the United Kingdom and Dreamworks Records in the United States in 1996.-History:...

", an energetic tune about wanting gratification and fulfilment without commitment. The song was somewhat unusual for a popular song, in that it did not have a defined chorus and that the single version was nearly five minutes long. "Fastlove" was supported by a futuristic virtual reality-related video. It scored No. 1 in the UK singles chart, spending three weeks at the top spot. In the US, "Fastlove" peaked at No. 8, his most recent single to reach the top 10 on the US charts. Following "Fastlove", Michael finally released Older, his first studio album in six years and only the third in his ten year solo career. The album's US and Canada release was particularly notable as it was the first album released by David Geffen's (now-defunct) DreamWorks Records
DreamWorks Records
DreamWorks Records was an American record label. Founded in 1996 by David Geffen, Steven Spielberg and Jeffrey Katzenberg as a subsidiary of DreamWorks SKG, the label operated until 2005 when it was shut down...

. Older was particularly notable for the release of its six singles. Each of them reached the UK Top 3, a record for the most singles in the British Top 3 released from a single album. At the time of release of the album's fifth single, "Star People '97
Star People '97
"Star People '97" is a single by pop singer George Michael, which was released as the fifth single from his album Older. It was written and performed by George Michael and was released by Virgin Records in the UK and Dreamworks Records in the U.S. in 1997. "Star People '97" peaked at number 2 in...

", chart specialist James Masterton
James Masterton
James Masterton is a headline columnist for the music website Yahoo! Launch. He writes a weekly column analysing new entries in the UK Singles Chart...

 noted George Michael's success on the singles charts, writing: "George Michael nonetheless makes an impressive Top 3 entry with this single. The Older album has now proved itself to be far and away his most commercially successful recording ever. Five singles now lifted and every single one has been a Top 3 hit. Compare this with the two Top 3 hits produced by Faith and Listen Without Prejudice's scant total of one Top Tenner and one single which missed the Top 40 altogether. This sustained single success has, of course, been achieved with a little help from marketing tricks such as remixes – or in this case a new recording of the album track which gives it a much-needed transformation into a deserved commercial smash."

In 1996, Michael was voted 'Best British Male', at the MTV Europe Music Awards
MTV Europe Music Awards
The MTV Europe Music Awards were established in 1994 by MTV Networks Europe to celebrate the most popular music videos in Europe. Originally beginning as an alternative to the American MTV Video Music Awards, the MTV Europe Music Awards is today a popular celebration of what MTV viewers consider...

 and the Brit Awards
Brit Awards
The Brit Awards are the British Phonographic Industry's annual pop music awards. The name was originally a shortened form of "British", "Britain" or "Britannia", but subsequently became a backronym for British Record Industry Trust...

; and at The Ivor Novello Awards
Ivor Novello Awards
The Ivor Novello Awards, named after the Cardiff born entertainer Ivor Novello, are awards for songwriting and composing. They are presented annually in London by the British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors and were first introduced in 1955.Nicknamed The Ivors, the awards take place...

, he was awarded the prestigious title of 'Songwriter of The Year' for the third time. Michael performed a concert at Three Mills Studios, London, for MTV Unplugged
MTV Unplugged
MTV Unplugged is a TV series showcasing many popular musical artists usually playing acoustic instruments. The show has received the George Foster Peabody Award and 3 Primetime Emmy nominations among many accolades.-Unplugged:...

. It was his first long performance in years, and in the audience was Michael's mother. The next year, she died of cancer.

1998: Ladies & Gentlemen: The Best of George Michael

Ladies & Gentlemen: The Best of George Michael was Michael's first solo greatest hits collection released in 1998. The collection of 28 songs (29 songs are included on the European and Australian release) are separated into two halves, with each containing a particular theme and mood. The first CD, titled "For the Heart," predominantly contains Michael's successful ballads, while the second CD, "For the Feet", consists mainly of his popular dance tunes. It was released through Sony Music Entertainment as a condition of severing contractual ties with the label.

The album is notable for containing a large number of compilation tracks and duets that had not previously appeared on his albums, including his duet with Aretha Franklin
Aretha Franklin
Aretha Louise Franklin is an American singer, songwriter, and pianist. Although known for her soul recordings and referred to as The Queen of Soul, Franklin is also adept at jazz, blues, R&B, gospel music, and rock. Rolling Stone magazine ranked her atop its list of The Greatest Singers of All...

, "I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me)"; "Desafinado", a duet in Portuguese with Brazilian legendary singer Astrud Gilberto
Astrud Gilberto
Astrud Gilberto is a Brazilian samba and bossa nova singer. She is well known for the Grammy Award-winning song "The Girl from Ipanema".-Biography:...

; and the Elton John
Elton John
Sir Elton Hercules John, CBE, Hon DMus is an English rock singer-songwriter, composer, pianist and occasional actor...

 duet "Don't Let The Sun Go Down On Me".

Ladies & Gentlemen was an instant success, peaking at number one on the UK Album Chart for 8 weeks. It has spent over 200 weeks in the UK Charts, and it is the 38 best-selling album of all time in the UK. It is certified 7 times platinum in the United Kingdom and Multi-Platinum in the United States, and it's George Michael's most commercially successful album in his homeland having sold more than 2.8 million copies. To date, the album has reached worldwide sales of approximately 15 million copies.

The first single of the album, "Outside" was a humorous song about his arrest for soliciting a policeman in a public restroom. "As
As (song)
"As" is a song written and performed by Stevie Wonder from his 1976 album Songs in the Key of Life. It reached #36 on both the Billboard Hot 100 and Black Singles chart.-Covers:...

", his duet with Mary J. Blige
Mary J. Blige
Mary Jane Blige is an American singer-songwriter, record producer and occasional actress. She is a recipient of nine Grammy Awards and four American Music Awards, and has recorded eight multi-platinum albums. She is the only artist with Grammy Award wins in Pop, Rap, Gospel, and R&B. Blige has...

, was released as the second single in many territories around the world. Both singles reached the top 5 in the UK Singles Chart
UK Singles Chart
The UK Singles Chart is compiled by The Official Charts Company on behalf of the British record-industry. The full chart contains the top selling 200 singles in the United Kingdom based upon combined record sales and download numbers, though some media outlets only list the Top 40 or the Top 75 ...

.

1999: Songs from the Last Century

Songs from the Last Century is a studio album of cover tracks. It was released in 1999 and was the final George Michael album to be released through Virgin Records
Virgin Records
Virgin Records is a British record label founded by English entrepreneur Richard Branson, Simon Draper, and Nik Powell in 1972. The company grew to be a worldwide music phenomenon, with platinum performers such as Roy Orbison, Devo, Genesis, Keith Richards, Janet Jackson, Culture Club, Lenny...

. To date, the album has peaked the lowest of his solo effort. The album debuted at number 157 on the American Billboard Charts, which was also the album's peak positions. It was also his lowest charting album in the UK, becoming his only solo effort not to reach number 1. It peaked at number 2 in the UK Album Chart. It consists of old standards, plus new interpretations of more recent popular songs such as "Roxanne
Roxanne (song)
"Roxanne" is a hit song by the rock band The Police, first released in 1978 as a single and on their album Outlandos d'Amour. It was written from the point-of-view of a man who falls in love with a prostitute.- History :...

","The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face
The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face
"The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face" is a 1957 folk song written by British political singer/songwriter Ewan MacColl for Peggy Seeger, who was later to become his wife. At the time the couple were lovers, although MacColl was married to someone else. MacColl and Seeger included the song in their...

"; and the Frank Sinatra
Frank Sinatra
Francis Albert "Frank" Sinatra was an American singer and actor.Beginning his musical career in the swing era with Harry James and Tommy Dorsey, Sinatra became an unprecedentedly successful solo artist in the early to mid-1940s, after being signed to Columbia Records in 1943. Being the idol of the...

 classic "Where or When
Where or When
"Where or When" is a show tune from the 1937 Rodgers and Hart musical Babes In Arms. It was first performed by Ray Heatherton and Mitzi Green. That same year, Hal Kemp recorded a popular version. It also appeared in the movie of the same title two years later...

". Each of the 11 tracks was co-produced by Phil Ramone
Phil Ramone
Phil Ramone is a South-African violinist, composer, recording engineer, and record producer.-Biography:As a young child in South Africa, Ramone was a musical prodigy, beginning to play the violin at age three and performing for Queen Elizabeth II at age ten...

 and George Michael.

2000–2005: Patience

Michael began working on what would be his fifth studio album, spending two years in the recording studio. His first single "Freeek!
Freeek!
"Freeek!" is a single written and performed by English pop singer George Michael, and a remastered version called "Freeek! '04" was later featured on his album, Patience....

", taken from the new album, was successful in Europe going to number one in Italy, Portugal, Spain and Denmark in 2002 and reaching the top 10 in the UK and ther top 5 in Australia. It made 22 charts around the world. However, his next single "Shoot the Dog
Shoot the Dog
"Shoot the Dog" is a single by the singer-songwriter George Michael, released as the second single from his album, Patience, though released a year and a half prior to the album. The song is an anti-George W. Bush song. Released on 29 July 2002, it peaked at number one in Denmark and number twelve...

" proved to be highly controversial when released in July 2002. It was highly critical of George W. Bush
George W. Bush
George Walker Bush is an American politician who served as the 43rd President of the United States, from 2001 to 2009. Before that, he was the 46th Governor of Texas, having served from 1995 to 2000....

 and Tony Blair
Tony Blair
Anthony Charles Lynton Blair is a former British Labour Party politician who served as the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 2 May 1997 to 27 June 2007. He was the Member of Parliament for Sedgefield from 1983 to 2007 and Leader of the Labour Party from 1994 to 2007...

 in the leadup to the 2003 invasion of Iraq
2003 invasion of Iraq
The 2003 invasion of Iraq , was the start of the conflict known as the Iraq War, or Operation Iraqi Freedom, in which a combined force of troops from the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia and Poland invaded Iraq and toppled the regime of Saddam Hussein in 21 days of major combat operations...

. It reached number one in Denmark and made the top 5 in most European charts. However, in Britain it peaked at only number 12 in the UK Singles Chart.

On 17 November 2003, George Michael re-signed with Sony Music after a legal battle with the company led to his contract being sold to rival record companies Virgin Records
Virgin Records
Virgin Records is a British record label founded by English entrepreneur Richard Branson, Simon Draper, and Nik Powell in 1972. The company grew to be a worldwide music phenomenon, with platinum performers such as Roy Orbison, Devo, Genesis, Keith Richards, Janet Jackson, Culture Club, Lenny...

 and DreamWorks Records
DreamWorks Records
DreamWorks Records was an American record label. Founded in 1996 by David Geffen, Steven Spielberg and Jeffrey Katzenberg as a subsidiary of DreamWorks SKG, the label operated until 2005 when it was shut down...

. When Michael's fifth studio album, Patience, was released in 2004, it went straight to number 1 on the UK Albums Chart
UK Albums Chart
The UK Albums Chart is a list of albums ranked by physical and digital sales in the United Kingdom. It is compiled every week by The Official Charts Company and broadcast on a Sunday on BBC Radio 1 , and published in Music Week magazine and on the OCC website .To qualify for the UK albums chart...

, and became one of the fastest selling albums in the UK, selling over 200,000 copies in the first week alone. In Australia it reached number 2 on 22 March. It reached the Top 5 on most European charts, and peaked at number 12 in the United States, selling over 500,000 copies to earn a Gold certification from the RIAA. Critically acclaimed, it is considered the album of George Michael's comeback to the spotlight in the new millennium, selling around 7 million copies worldwide and spawning four (of six) new hit singles.

"Amazing
Amazing (George Michael song)
"Amazing" is a dance-pop song co-written, arranged, produced and performed by George Michael, which was released by Sony BMG on 1 March 2004. It was included on Michael's fifth studio album, Patience. The song is about and dedicated to George Michael's partner, Kenny Goss.-Music video:The music...

", the first single off the album, became a number one hit in Europe. When Michael appeared on the Oprah Winfrey Show on 26 May 2004, to promote the album, he performed "Amazing", along with his classic songs "Father Figure" and "Faith
Faith (George Michael song)
"Faith" is a #1 song, written and performed by George Michael, released as a single on Columbia Records, from his 1987 Faith album. According to Billboard magazine, it was the top-selling single of the year in the United States in 1988....

". On the show Michael spoke of his arrest, revealing his homosexuality, and his resumption of public performances. He allowed Oprah's crew inside his home outside of London. The second single taken off the album was "Flawless (Go to the City)
Flawless (Go to the City)
"Flawless " is a song co-written and performed by George Michael and released by Sony BMG on June 28, 2004. It samples "Flawless", originally recorded by the electronic music band The Ones and "Keep On Dancin'" , originally recorded by Gary's Gang...

", It was a dance hit in Europe as well as North America, reaching no.1 on the Billboard Hot Dance Club Play
Hot Dance Club Play
The Hot Dance Club Songs chart is a weekly national survey of the songs that are most popular in U.S. dance clubs...

 and became Michael's last number one single on the United States Dance chart. In November, Sony released another single – "Round Here
Round Here
"Round Here" was released in 1994 from Geffen Records as the second single from the Counting Crows' debut album, August and Everything After ....

". It was the least successful single taken from Patience when it stalled the UK charts at no. 32. In 2005, "John and Elvis Are Dead
John and Elvis Are Dead
"John and Elvis Are Dead" is a single released by George Michael from his album Patience. It was released on October 3, 2005 as a download-only single and was therefore unable to chart in the United Kingdom....

" was released as the final single from the album; it was released as a download single and was therefore unable to chart in the United Kingdom.

George Michael announced that Patience will be the last record on sale to the public. He told BBC Radio 1
BBC Radio 1
BBC Radio 1 is a British national radio station operated by the British Broadcasting Corporation which also broadcasts internationally, specialising in current popular music and chart hits throughout the day. Radio 1 provides alternative genres after 7:00pm including electronic dance, hip hop, rock...

 on 10 March 2004 that future music that he puts out will be available for download, with fans encouraged to make a donation to charity.

2005–2008: Twenty Five and concert tours

Twenty Five was George Michael's second greatest hits album, celebrating the 25th anniversary of his music career. Released in November 2006 by Sony BMG, it debuted at no.1 in the UK.

The album contains songs chiefly from George Michael's solo career but also from his earlier days in Wham! It comes in two formats: two CDs or a limited edition three-CD set. The 2-CD set contained 26 tracks, including four recorded with Wham!
WHAM!
Wham! were a short-lived British musical duo formed by George Michael and Andrew Ridgeley in the early 1980s. They were briefly known in the United States as Wham! UK due to a naming conflict with an American band....

 and three new songs: "An Easier Affair
An Easier Affair
"An Easier Affair" is the first single from George Michael's second greatest hits album Twenty Five. It was released on July 3, 2006 and peaked at number one in Italy and Hungary. In the United Kingdom, it reached number thirteen...

"; "This Is Not Real Love
This Is Not Real Love
"This Is Not Real Love" is the second single from George Michael's second greatest hits album Twenty Five. The single features Mutya Buena, the ex-Sugababe and was released on November 6, 2006. No music video was made for the song, due to the busy work schedules of both Michael and Buena. The song...

" (a duet with Mutya Buena, formerly of Sugababes
Sugababes
The Sugababes are an English pop girl group based in London, consisting of members Heidi Range, Amelle Berrabah and Jade Ewen. The Sugababes were formed in 1998 with founding members Siobhán Donaghy, Mutya Buena and Keisha Buchanan. Their debut album, One Touch, was released in 2000 under London...

, which peaked at No.15 in the UK Charts); and a new version of "Heal the Pain
Heal The Pain
"Heal the Pain" was a song written and performed by George Michael and released on Epic Records in 1991.A contemplative, acoustic guitar-based love song, it was the fourth of five UK singles taken from the album Listen Without Prejudice Vol. 1....

" recorded with Paul McCartney
Paul McCartney
Sir James Paul McCartney, MBE, Hon RAM, FRCM is an English musician, singer-songwriter and composer. Formerly of The Beatles and Wings , McCartney is listed in Guinness World Records as the "most successful musician and composer in popular music history", with 60 gold discs and sales of 100...

. The limited edition three-CD version contains an additional 14 lesser known tracks, including one from Wham! and another completely new song, "Understand".

Twenty Five was released in North America on 1 April 2008 as a 29-song, two-CD set featuring several new songs (including duets with Paul McCartney and Mary J. Blige and a song from the short-lived TV series Eli Stone
Eli Stone
Eli Stone is an American TV series, and also the name of the title character.San Francisco lawyer Eli Stone begins to see things, which leads him to discover a brain aneurysm...

) in addition to many of Michael's successful songs from both his solo and Wham! career. To commemorate the Twenty Five album, George Michael toured North America for the first time in 17 years, playing large venues in major cities including New York, Los Angeles, St. Paul/Minneapolis, Chicago and Dallas.

The DVD version of Twenty Five contains 40 videos on two discs, including seven with Wham!.

During the 2005 Live 8
Live 8
Live 8 was a string of benefit concerts that took place on 2 July 2005, in the G8 states and in South Africa. They were timed to precede the G8 Conference and summit held at the Gleneagles Hotel in Auchterarder, Scotland from 6–8 July 2005; they also coincided with the 20th anniversary of Live Aid...

 concert, Michael joined Paul McCartney
Paul McCartney
Sir James Paul McCartney, MBE, Hon RAM, FRCM is an English musician, singer-songwriter and composer. Formerly of The Beatles and Wings , McCartney is listed in Guinness World Records as the "most successful musician and composer in popular music history", with 60 gold discs and sales of 100...

 on stage, harmonising on The Beatles
The Beatles
The Beatles were an English rock band, active throughout the 1960s and one of the most commercially successful and critically acclaimed acts in the history of popular music. Formed in Liverpool, by 1962 the group consisted of John Lennon , Paul McCartney , George Harrison and Ringo Starr...

 classic "Drive My Car
Drive My Car
"Drive My Car" is a song primarily written by Paul McCartney, with lyrical contributions from John Lennon, and first released by The Beatles on the British version of the 1965 album Rubber Soul; it also appeared in North America on the Yesterday and Today collection...

". Michael was one of several remixers commissioned in 1990 to work on dance mixes for Bananarama
Bananarama
Bananarama are an English female pop duo who have had success on the pop and dance charts since 1982. Rather than relying on a two part harmony, the duo generally sings in unison, as do their background vocalists. Although there have been line-up changes, the group enjoyed their most popular...

's "Tripping on Your Love". Bananarama covered "Careless Whisper" for their Exotica album in 2001, and the track was also released as a single in France.

In 2006, Michael started his first tour in 15 years, 25 Live
25 Live
25 Live was a concert tour by English singer / songwriter George Michael. The tour was the most commercially successful tour of 2006–2007 in Europe. The tour has grossed over $200 million, with positive reviews from music critics. The 106 tour shows were performed in 41 countries and seen by 2...

. The tour began in Barcelona
Barcelona
Barcelona is the second largest city in Spain after Madrid, and the capital of Catalonia, with a population of 1,621,537 within its administrative limits on a land area of...

, Spain, on 23 September and finished in December at Wembley Arena
Wembley Arena
Wembley Arena is an indoor arena, at Wembley, in the London Borough of Brent. The building is opposite Wembley Stadium.-History:...

 in England. According to his website, the 80-show tour was seen by 1.3 million fans. On 12 May 2007 in Coimbra
Coimbra
Coimbra is a city in the municipality of Coimbra in Portugal. Although it served as the nation's capital during the High Middle Ages, it is better-known for its university, the University of Coimbra, which is one of the oldest in Europe and the oldest academic institution in the...

, Portugal, he began the European "25 Live Stadium Tour 2007", including London and Athens, and ending on 4 August 2007 in Belfast
Belfast
Belfast is the capital of and largest city in Northern Ireland. By population, it is the 14th biggest city in the United Kingdom and second biggest on the island of Ireland . It is the seat of the devolved government and legislative Northern Ireland Assembly...

, Northern Ireland. There were 29 tour dates (as of 21 April 2007) across Europe. On 9 June 2007 Michael became the first artist to perform live at the newly renovated Wembley Stadium
Wembley Stadium
The original Wembley Stadium, officially known as the Empire Stadium, was a football stadium in Wembley, a suburb of north-west London, standing on the site now occupied by the new Wembley Stadium that opened in 2007...

 in London, where he was later fined £130,000 for overrunning the programme for 13 minutes.

On 25 March 2008 a third part of the 25 Live Tour was announced for North America. This part included 21 dates in the United States and Canada. This was Michael's first tour of North America in 17 years. Following news of Michael's North American tour, Twenty Five was released in North America on 1 April 2008 as a 29-song, 2-CD set featuring several new songs (including duets with Paul McCartney
Paul McCartney
Sir James Paul McCartney, MBE, Hon RAM, FRCM is an English musician, singer-songwriter and composer. Formerly of The Beatles and Wings , McCartney is listed in Guinness World Records as the "most successful musician and composer in popular music history", with 60 gold discs and sales of 100...

 and Mary J. Blige
Mary J. Blige
Mary Jane Blige is an American singer-songwriter, record producer and occasional actress. She is a recipient of nine Grammy Awards and four American Music Awards, and has recorded eight multi-platinum albums. She is the only artist with Grammy Award wins in Pop, Rap, Gospel, and R&B. Blige has...

 and a song from the short-lived TV series, Eli Stone
Eli Stone
Eli Stone is an American TV series, and also the name of the title character.San Francisco lawyer Eli Stone begins to see things, which leads him to discover a brain aneurysm...

) in addition to many of Michael's successful songs from both his solo and Wham! career. In addition, a companion 2-disc DVD of 40 videos was also made available.

Michael made his American acting debut by playing a guardian angel to Jonny Lee Miller
Jonny Lee Miller
Jonathan "Jonny" Lee Miller is an English actor. During the initial days he was best known for his roles in the 1996 films Trainspotting and Hackers...

's character on Eli Stone
Eli Stone
Eli Stone is an American TV series, and also the name of the title character.San Francisco lawyer Eli Stone begins to see things, which leads him to discover a brain aneurysm...

, a TV series that was broadcast in the United States. In addition to performing on the show as himself and as "visions", each episode of the show's first season was named after a song of his. Michael appeared on the 2008 finale show of American Idol
American Idol
American Idol, titled American Idol: The Search for a Superstar for the first season, is a reality television singing competition created by Simon Fuller and produced by FremantleMedia North America and 19 Entertainment...

 on 21 May singing "Praying for Time". When asked what he thought Simon will say of his performance, he replied "I think he'll probably tell me I shouldn't have done a George Michael song. He's told plenty of people that in the past, so I think that'd be quite funny."

On 1 December, Michael played a last concert in Abu Dhabi
Abu Dhabi
Abu Dhabi , literally Father of Gazelle, is the capital and the second largest city of the United Arab Emirates in terms of population and the largest of the seven member emirates of the United Arab Emirates. Abu Dhabi lies on a T-shaped island jutting into the Persian Gulf from the central western...

 in the United Arab Emirates
United Arab Emirates
The United Arab Emirates, abbreviated as the UAE, or shortened to "the Emirates", is a state situated in the southeast of the Arabian Peninsula in Western Asia on the Persian Gulf, bordering Oman, and Saudi Arabia, and sharing sea borders with Iraq, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, and Iran.The UAE is a...

, as part of the 37th National Day
National Day
The National Day is a designated date on which celebrations mark the nationhood of a nation or non-sovereign country. This nationhood can be symbolized by the date of independence, of becoming republic or a significant date for a patron saint or a ruler . Often the day is not called "National Day"...

 Celebrations.

2008–present: Latest projects

On 25 December 2008, Michael released a new track "December Song" on his website for free. It was hoped that fans who download the song would donate money to charity. Though the song is not available any more on his website, it remains available on file sharing networks and on 29 October 2009 the BBC said that George Michael was to join the race for the UK Christmas number one as a remastered version of "December Song" would go on sale on 13 December. The popularity of the single was boosted by a promotional appearance that Michael made on The X Factor
The X Factor (UK)
The X Factor is a British television music competition to find new singing talent. Created by Simon Cowell, it began in September 2004 and is contested by aspiring singers drawn from public auditions. It is the originator of the international X Factor franchise. The seven series of the show to date...

, where he performed the song with David Austin playing piano.

At the end of 2009, Michael announced, after months of speculation, that he would be performing shows in the Australian cities of Melbourne, Perth and Sydney, his first concerts in Australia since 1988. On 20 February 2010, Michael performed his first show in Perth
Perth, Western Australia
Perth is the capital and largest city of the Australian state of Western Australia and the fourth most populous city in Australia. The Perth metropolitan area has an estimated population of almost 1,700,000....

 at the Burswood dome
Burswood Entertainment Complex
The Burswood Entertainment Complex is located on the Swan River near the city of Perth, Western Australia, and is owned by Crown Limited. The complex includes a 24-hour casino, seven restaurants, eight bars, a nightclub, two international hotels , a Convention Centre, Theatre and the Burswood Dome...

 to an audience of 15,000.

On 5 March 2010, Michael confirmed that he would be a guest performer at the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras
Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras
The Sydney Mardi Gras is an annual LGBTQI pride parade and festival in Sydney, Australia, and draws in thousands of visitors from around Australia and overseas...

 After Party, where he performed at 1 am, followed by Kelly Rowland
Kelly Rowland
Kelendria Trene "Kelly" Rowland is an American singer, songwriter, actress, dancer, and television personality. She rose to fame as one of the founding members of the American girl group Destiny's Child...

 at 3 am.

On 2 March 2011 Michael announced the release of his cover version of New Order
New Order
New Order are an English rock band formed in 1980 by Bernard Sumner , Peter Hook and Stephen Morris...

's 1987 hit "True Faith" in aid of the charity Comic Relief
Comic Relief
Comic Relief is an operating British charity, founded in 1985 by the comedy scriptwriter Richard Curtis and comedian Lenny Henry in response to famine in Ethiopia. The highlight of Comic Relief's appeal is Red Nose Day, a biennial telethon held in March, alternating with sister project Sport Relief...

. Michael released a cover of Stevie Wonder
Stevie Wonder
Stevland Hardaway Morris , better known by his stage name Stevie Wonder, is an American singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, record producer and activist...

's 1972 song, "You and I
You and I (We Can Conquer the World)
"You and I " is a song written and sung by Stevie Wonder. The track is found on his 1972 album Talking Book. Wonder is also credited for playing piano, T.O.N.T.O...

" on 15 April 2011, as an MP3 gift to Prince William and Catherine Middleton on the occasion of their wedding on 29 April 2011
Wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton
The wedding of Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, and Catherine Middleton took place on 29 April 2011 at Westminster Abbey in London. Prince William, the eldest son of Charles, Prince of Wales, first met Catherine Middleton in 2001, when both were studying at the University of St Andrews. Their...

.

Although the MP3 was released for free download, Michael appealed that those who do download the special track that make a contribution to "The Prince William & Miss Catherine Middleton Charitable Gift Fund".

On 11 May 2011, the Symphonica Tour
Symphonica Tour
The Symphonica Tour is an orchestral concert tour by George Michael. The singer performs the songs mainly from "Songs from the Last Century" and "Patience" albums as well as some cover versions in new arrangements.-Background:...

 was announced. Only European dates were released. The first show on the tour was performed at the Prague State Opera House
Prague State Opera
The Prague State Opera , is an opera and ballet company in Prague, Czech Republic. The theatre was originally founded in 1888 as the New German Theatre and from 1949 to 1989 it was known as the Smetana Theatre....

 on 22 August.
In November, he had to cancel the remainder of the tour though, as he became severely ill in Vienna, Austria.

In October 2011, Michael was announced as one of the final nominees for the Songwriter's Hall of Fame.

Sexuality

In a 2007 interview, Michael admitted that he had hidden the fact he was gay because of worries over what effect it might have on his mother.

Relationships

Michael established a relationship with Anselmo Feleppa, whom he had met at the 1991 concert Rock in Rio
Rock in Rio
Rock in Rio is a series of music festivals held in three cities: Rio de Janeiro in Brazil, Lisbon in Portugal and Madrid in Spain.Four incarnations of the festival were in Rio de Janeiro, in 1985, 1991, 2001 and 2011, four in Lisbon, in 2004, 2006, 2008 and 2010, and two in Madrid in 2008 and 2010....

. Feleppa died of a brain haemorrhage in 1993. Michael's single "Jesus to a Child
Jesus to a Child
"Jesus to a Child" is a song by British musician George Michael. The song peaked at number 1 in Britain and Australia, and at number 2 in the mainland European charts. The song has also become George Michael's highest direct entry in the American charts. The song is one of George Michael's...

" is a tribute to Feleppa (he consistently dedicates it to him before performing it live), as is his 1996 album Older.

In 1996, Michael entered into a long-term relationship with businessman, Kenny Goss. Goss opened the Goss Gallery in May 2005 in Dallas, which shows contemporary art and works from their private collection, which includes many artworks by YBAs
Young British Artists
Young British Artists or YBAs is the name given to a loose group of visual artists who first began to exhibit together in London, in 1988...

 such as Sarah Lucas
Sarah Lucas
Sarah Lucas is an English artist. She is part of the generation of Young British Artists who emerged during the 1990s...

. They had homes in London and Dallas. In late November 2005, it was reported that Michael and Goss would register their relationship as a civil partnership in the UK, but because of negative publicity and his upcoming tour, they postponed it to a later date. On 22 August 2011, the opening night of his Symphonica world tour
Symphonica Tour
The Symphonica Tour is an orchestral concert tour by George Michael. The singer performs the songs mainly from "Songs from the Last Century" and "Patience" albums as well as some cover versions in new arrangements.-Background:...

, Michael announced that he and his long time partner, Kenny, had split two years before. Goss was present at Michael's British sentencing for driving under the influence of marijuana on 14 September 2010.

Anonymous sex

Questions of Michael's sexual orientation
Sexual orientation
Sexual orientation describes a pattern of emotional, romantic, or sexual attractions to the opposite sex, the same sex, both, or neither, and the genders that accompany them. By the convention of organized researchers, these attractions are subsumed under heterosexuality, homosexuality,...

 persisted in public until 7 April 1998, when he was arrested for "engaging in a lewd act
Cottaging
Cottaging is a British gay slang term referring to anonymous sex between men in a public lavatory , or cruising for sexual partners with the intention of having sex elsewhere...

" in a public toilet in a park in Beverly Hills
Beverly Hills, California
Beverly Hills is an affluent city located in Los Angeles County, California, United States. With a population of 34,109 at the 2010 census, up from 33,784 as of the 2000 census, it is home to numerous Hollywood celebrities. Beverly Hills and the neighboring city of West Hollywood are together...

, California. He was arrested by an undercover
Undercover
Being undercover is disguising one's own identity or using an assumed identity for the purposes of gaining the trust of an individual or organization to learn secret information or to gain the trust of targeted individuals in order to gain information or evidence...

 policeman named Marcelo Rodríguez, in a sting operation
Sting operation
In law enforcement, a sting operation is a deceptive operation designed to catch a person committing a crime. A typical sting will have a law-enforcement officer or cooperative member of the public play a role as criminal partner or potential victim and go along with a suspect's actions to gather...

 using so-called "pretty police."

In an MTV interview, Michael stated: "I got followed into the restroom and then this cop—I didn't know it was a cop, obviously—he started playing this game, which I think is called, 'I'll show you mine, you show me yours, and then when you show me yours, I'm going to nick
Arrest
An arrest is the act of depriving a person of his or her liberty usually in relation to the purported investigation and prevention of crime and presenting into the criminal justice system or harm to oneself or others...

 you!"

After pleading "no contest
Nolo contendere
is a legal term that comes from the Latin for "I do not wish to contend." It is also referred to as a plea of no contest.In criminal trials, and in some common law jurisdictions, it is a plea where the defendant neither admits nor disputes a charge, serving as an alternative to a pleading of...

" to the charge, Michael was fined US$810 and sentenced to 80 hours of community service
Community service
Community service is donated service or activity that is performed by someone or a group of people for the benefit of the public or its institutions....

. Soon afterwards, Michael made a video for his single "Outside" which was obviously based on the public toilet incident and which featured men dressed as policemen kissing. Rodríguez claimed that this video "mocked" him, and that Michael had slandered him in interviews. In 1999, he brought a US$10 million court case in California against the singer. The court dismissed the case, but an Appellate court
Appellate court
An appellate court, commonly called an appeals court or court of appeals or appeal court , is any court of law that is empowered to hear an appeal of a trial court or other lower tribunal...

 reinstated the case on 3 December 2002. The court then ruled Rodríguez, as a public official, could not legally recover damages for emotional distress.

After the incident, Michael became explicit about his sexuality
Sexual orientation
Sexual orientation describes a pattern of emotional, romantic, or sexual attractions to the opposite sex, the same sex, both, or neither, and the genders that accompany them. By the convention of organized researchers, these attractions are subsumed under heterosexuality, homosexuality,...

 and his relationship with Kenny Goss, a former cheerleader coach and sportswear
Sportswear
Sportswear or activewear is clothing, including footwear, worn for sport or physical exercise. Sport-specific clothing is worn for most sports and physical exercise, for practical, comfort or safety reasons....

 executive from Dallas, and his partner beginning in June 1996.

On 23 July 2006. Michael was again accused of engaging in anonymous public sex, this time at London's Hampstead Heath
Hampstead Heath
Hampstead Heath is a large, ancient London park, covering . This grassy public space sits astride a sandy ridge, one of the highest points in London, running from Hampstead to Highgate, which rests on a band of London clay...

. The anonymous partner was later discovered to be 58-year-old Norman Kirtland, an unemployed van driver. Despite stating that he intended to sue both the News of the World
News of the World
The News of the World was a national red top newspaper published in the United Kingdom from 1843 to 2011. It was at one time the biggest selling English language newspaper in the world, and at closure still had one of the highest English language circulations...

 tabloid who photographed the incident and Norman Kirtland for slander, Michael stated that he cruises
Cruising for sex
Cruising for sex, or cruising is the act of walking or driving about a locality in search of a sex partner, usually of the anonymous, casual, one-time variety...

 for anonymous sex and that this was not an issue in his relationship with partner Kenny Goss.

Drugs

On 26 February 2006, Michael was arrested for possession of Class C drugs, an incident that he described as "my own stupid fault, as usual." He was cautioned by the police and released.

Michael was arrested in Cricklewood, North-West London, after motorists reported a car obstructing the road at traffic lights. He pleaded guilty on 8 May 2007 to driving while unfit through drugs. He was banned from driving for two years, and sentenced to community service.

During September 2007, on Desert Island Discs
Desert Island Discs
Desert Island Discs is a BBC Radio 4 programme first broadcast on 29 January 1942. It is the second longest-running radio programme , and is the longest-running factual programme in the history of radio...

, he said that his cannabis
Cannabis (drug)
Cannabis, also known as marijuana among many other names, refers to any number of preparations of the Cannabis plant intended for use as a psychoactive drug or for medicinal purposes. The English term marijuana comes from the Mexican Spanish word marihuana...

 use was a problem; he wished he could smoke less of it and was constantly trying to do so.

On 19 September 2008, Michael was arrested in a public toilet in the Hampstead Heath
Hampstead Heath
Hampstead Heath is a large, ancient London park, covering . This grassy public space sits astride a sandy ridge, one of the highest points in London, running from Hampstead to Highgate, which rests on a band of London clay...

 area of London for possession of Class A and C drugs. He was taken to the police station and cautioned for controlled substance possession.

On 5 December 2009, in an interview with The Guardian
The Guardian
The Guardian, formerly known as The Manchester Guardian , is a British national daily newspaper in the Berliner format...

, Michael explains he had cut back on cannabis
Cannabis
Cannabis is a genus of flowering plants that includes three putative species, Cannabis sativa, Cannabis indica, and Cannabis ruderalis. These three taxa are indigenous to Central Asia, and South Asia. Cannabis has long been used for fibre , for seed and seed oils, for medicinal purposes, and as a...

 and now smokes only 'seven or eight' spliff
Joint (cannabis)
Joint is a slang term for a cigarette rolled using cannabis. Rolling papers are the most common rolling medium among industrialized countries, however brown paper, cigarettes with the tobacco removed, and newspaper are commonly used in developing countries. Modern papers are now made from a wide...

s per day instead of the 25 he used to smoke.

In the early hours of Sunday 4 July 2010 Michael was returning from the Gay Pride
Gay pride
LGBT pride or gay pride is the concept that lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people should be proud of their sexual orientation and gender identity...

 parade. The singer was spotted on CCTV driving into the front of a Snappy Snaps
Snappy Snaps
Snappy Snaps is a British photographic services franchise established in 1983 by Don Kennedy and Tim MacAndrews. there are 125 Snappy Snaps franchise locations throughout the UK...

 store in Hampstead, North London and was arrested on suspicion of being unfit to drive after reports that a car had crashed into a building. On 12 August, London's Metropolitan Police
Metropolitan Police Service
The Metropolitan Police Service is the territorial police force responsible for Greater London, excluding the "square mile" of the City of London which is the responsibility of the City of London Police...

 said he was "charged with possession of cannabis and with driving while unfit through drink or drugs". Michael had also been taking the prescription medication Amitriptyline
Amitriptyline
Amitriptyline is a tricyclic antidepressant . It is the most widely used TCA and has at least equal efficacy against depression as the newer class of SSRIs...

.

On 24 August 2010 the singer pleaded guilty at Highbury Corner Magistrates' Court in London after admitting driving under the influence of drugs and on 14 September 2010 at the same court, was sentenced to eight weeks in prison, a fine, and a five year ban from driving. Michael was released from Highpoint Prison in Suffolk on 11 October 2010, after serving four weeks.

It was reported that Michael had also been taking the prescription medication, Amitriptyline
Amitriptyline
Amitriptyline is a tricyclic antidepressant . It is the most widely used TCA and has at least equal efficacy against depression as the newer class of SSRIs...

, some of the side effects of which are listed on Medline
MEDLINE
MEDLINE is a bibliographic database of life sciences and biomedical information. It includes bibliographic information for articles from academic journals covering medicine, nursing, pharmacy, dentistry, veterinary medicine, and health care...

 include tiredness, drowsiness, blurred vision, fainting, dizziness and hallucinating.

Politics

Michael wrote "Shoot the Dog
Shoot the Dog
"Shoot the Dog" is a single by the singer-songwriter George Michael, released as the second single from his album, Patience, though released a year and a half prior to the album. The song is an anti-George W. Bush song. Released on 29 July 2002, it peaked at number one in Denmark and number twelve...

", a song critical about the friendly relationship between the American and British governments and their involvement in the Iraq War.

During 2000, Michael joined Melissa Etheridge
Melissa Etheridge
Melissa Lou Etheridge is an American rock singer-songwriter and musician.Etheridge is known for her mixture of confessional lyrics, pop-based folk-rock, and raspy, smoky vocals...

, Garth Brooks
Garth Brooks
Troyal Garth Brooks , best known as Garth Brooks, is an American country music artist who helped make country music a worldwide phenomenon. His eponymous first album was released in 1989 and peaked at number 2 in the US country album chart while climbing to number 13 on the Billboard 200 album chart...

, Queen Latifah
Queen Latifah
Dana Elaine Owens , better known by her stage name Queen Latifah, is an American singer, rapper, and actress. Her work in music, film and television has earned her a Golden Globe award, two Screen Actors Guild Awards, two Image Awards, a Grammy Award, six additional Grammy nominations, an Emmy...

, the Pet Shop Boys
Pet Shop Boys
Pet Shop Boys are an English electronic dance music duo, consisting of Neil Tennant, who provides main vocals, keyboards and occasional guitar, and Chris Lowe on keyboards....

, and k.d. lang
K.D. Lang
Kathryn Dawn Lang, OC , known by her stage name k.d. lang, is a Canadian pop and country singer-songwriter and occasional actress...

, to perform in Washington, D.C. as part of 'Equality Rocks' – a concert to benefit the Human Rights Campaign
Human Rights Campaign
The Human Rights Campaign is the United States' largest LGBT advocacy group and lobbying organization; according to the HRC, it has more than one million members and supporters...

.

During 2007, he sent the £1.45 million piano that John Lennon
John Lennon
John Winston Lennon, MBE was an English musician and singer-songwriter who rose to worldwide fame as one of the founding members of The Beatles, one of the most commercially successful and critically acclaimed acts in the history of popular music...

 used to write "Imagine
Imagine (song)
"Imagine" is a song written and performed by the English musician John Lennon. It is the opening track on his album Imagine, released in 1971...

" around the United States on a "peace tour," having it on display at places where violence had taken place, such as Dallas' Dealey Plaza
Dealey Plaza
Dealey Plaza , in the historic West End district of downtown Dallas, Texas , is the location of the assassination of John F. Kennedy on November 22, 1963...

, where US President John. F. Kennedy
John F. Kennedy
John Fitzgerald "Jack" Kennedy , often referred to by his initials JFK, was the 35th President of the United States, serving from 1961 until his assassination in 1963....

 was shot.

He devoted his concert in Sofia, Bulgaria
Sofia
Sofia is the capital and largest city of Bulgaria and the 12th largest city in the European Union with a population of 1.27 million people. It is located in western Bulgaria, at the foot of Mount Vitosha and approximately at the centre of the Balkan Peninsula.Prehistoric settlements were excavated...

 from his "Twenty Five Tour" to the Bulgarian nurses prosecuted in the HIV trial in Libya
HIV trial in Libya
The HIV trial in Libya concerns the trials, appeals and eventual release of six foreign medical workers charged with conspiring to deliberately infect over 400 children with HIV in 1998, causing an epidemic at El-Fatih Children's Hospital in Benghazi, Libya.The defendants were a Palestinian...

.

On 17 June 2008, Michael said he was thrilled by California's legalisation of same-sex marriage
Same-sex marriage in California
The status of same-sex marriage in California is unique among the 50 U.S. states, in that the state formerly granted marriage licenses to same-sex couples, but has discontinued doing so...

, calling the move "way overdue."

Charity

During 1984, he sang as part of Band Aid
Band Aid (band)
Band Aid was a charity supergroup featuring British and Irish musicians and recording artists. It was founded in 1984 by Bob Geldof and Midge Ure to raise money for famine relief in Ethiopia by releasing the song "Do They Know It's Christmas?" for the Christmas market that year. The single...

 on the charity song "Do They Know It's Christmas?
Do They Know It's Christmas?
"Do They Know It's Christmas?" is a song written by Bob Geldof and Midge Ure in 1984 to raise money for relief of the 1984–1985 famine in Ethiopia. The original version was produced by Midge Ure and released by Band Aid on 29 November 1984....

" for famine relief in Ethiopia
Ethiopia
Ethiopia , officially known as the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, is a country located in the Horn of Africa. It is the second-most populous nation in Africa, with over 82 million inhabitants, and the tenth-largest by area, occupying 1,100,000 km2...

. This single scored No.1 on the UK music charts over Christmas 1984, holding Michael's own song, "Last Christmas
Last Christmas
"Last Christmas" is a song by British pop duo Wham!, released on Epic Records in 1984, on a double A-side with "Everything She Wants". It was written by George Michael, one half of the duo...

" by Wham!, at #2. Michael donated the royalties from "Last Christmas" to Band Aid and subsequently sang with Elton John at Live Aid (the Band Aid charity concert) in 1985.

In 2003 he paired up with Ronan Keating
Ronan Keating
Ronan Patrick John Keating is an Irish recording artist, singer-songwriter, musician, and philanthropist. Keating debuted on the professional music scene alongside Keith Duffy, Mikey Graham, Shane Lynch and Stephen Gately, in 1994 as the lead singer of Boyzone. His solo career started in 1999, and...

 on the Who Wants to be a Millionaire?
Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? (UK game show)
Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? is a British television quiz show which offers a maximum cash prize of one million pounds for correctly answering successive multiple-choice questions of increasing difficulty...

 and won £32,000, after having their original £64,000 winnings halved after missing the £125,000 question.

The proceeds from the single "Don't Let The Sun Go Down On Me" were divided among 10 different charities for children, AIDS and education.

Michael is supporting a campaign to help raise US$32 million (GBP15 million) for terminally ill
Terminal illness
Terminal illness is a medical term popularized in the 20th century to describe a disease that cannot be cured or adequately treated and that is reasonably expected to result in the death of the patient within a short period of time. This term is more commonly used for progressive diseases such as...

 children.

Assets

According to reports, between the years 2006 and 2008, Michael earned £48.5 million ($97 million) from the 25 Live tour alone, as well as earning millions more for private concerts that he periodically does, such as for Billionaire Vladimir Potanin
Vladimir Potanin
Vladimir Olegovich Potanin is a Russian businessman and oligarch. His partner has been for many years Mikhail Prokhorov...

 and super rich fashion shop owner Sir Philip Green. According to the Sunday Times Rich List
Sunday Times Rich List
The Sunday Times Rich List is a list of the 1,000 wealthiest people or families in the United Kingdom, updated annually in April and published as a magazine supplement by British national Sunday newspaper The Sunday Times since 1989...

 2011
Sunday Times Rich List 2011
The Sunday Times Rich List 2011 is the 23rd annual survey of the wealthiest people in the United Kingdom, published by The Sunday Times on 8 May 2011...

, George Michael is worth £90 million in currency alone.

Memoirs

In 1991 Michael released an autobiography titled "Bare" through Penguin Books
Penguin Books
Penguin Books is a publisher founded in 1935 by Sir Allen Lane and V.K. Krishna Menon. Penguin revolutionised publishing in the 1930s through its high quality, inexpensive paperbacks, sold through Woolworths and other high street stores for sixpence. Penguin's success demonstrated that large...

, which he co-wrote with writer Tony Parsons
Tony Parsons (British journalist)
Tony Parsons is a British journalist broadcaster and author. He began his career as a music journalist on the NME, writing about punk music. Later, he wrote for The Daily Telegraph, before going on to write his current column for the Daily Mirror...

. The over 200 page book covers various aspects of his life, including details of his relationship with a former girlfriend. On 16 January 2008, Michael signed a contract with HarperCollins
HarperCollins
HarperCollins is a publishing company owned by News Corporation. It is the combination of the publishers William Collins, Sons and Co Ltd, a British company, and Harper & Row, an American company, itself the result of an earlier merger of Harper & Brothers and Row, Peterson & Company. The worldwide...

 for an autobiography which he is to write "entirely himself".

Health troubles

On 26 October 2011, Michael had to cancel a performance at London
London
London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its...

's Royal Albert Hall
Royal Albert Hall
The Royal Albert Hall is a concert hall situated on the northern edge of the South Kensington area, in the City of Westminster, London, England, best known for holding the annual summer Proms concerts since 1941....

 due to viral infection. On 21 November 2011, Michael was admitted to hospital in Vienna
Vienna
Vienna is the capital and largest city of the Republic of Austria and one of the nine states of Austria. Vienna is Austria's primary city, with a population of about 1.723 million , and is by far the largest city in Austria, as well as its cultural, economic, and political centre...

 after complaining of chest pains at a hotel two hours prior to him performing at a venue there for his Symphonica Tour
Symphonica Tour
The Symphonica Tour is an orchestral concert tour by George Michael. The singer performs the songs mainly from "Songs from the Last Century" and "Patience" albums as well as some cover versions in new arrangements.-Background:...

. Michael was later confirmed to have suffered from pneumonia
Pneumonia
Pneumonia is an inflammatory condition of the lung—especially affecting the microscopic air sacs —associated with fever, chest symptoms, and a lack of air space on a chest X-ray. Pneumonia is typically caused by an infection but there are a number of other causes...

 and until 1 December was in an intensive-care unit. While Michael appeared to be "in good spirits" and was responding well to treatment following his admittance, hospital officials said on 25 November, that Michael's condition had "worsened overnight". This development led to Michael's remaining 2011 dates, most of them in the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

, to be cancelled and postponed. Michael's friend, celebrity hairstylist Fadi Fawaz, told press that Michael's health was improving "by the hour". On 1 December, doctors in the hospital Michael is staying in, announced that the singer was "steadily improving" and had moved out of the intensive care unit.

Studio albums

  • 1987: Faith
    Faith (George Michael album)
    Faith is George Michael's first solo album, released in October 1987 via Columbia Records/Epic Records. The album has won several awards including the Grammy Award for Album of the Year in 1989. To date, the album has sold over 25 million copies worldwide, and received diamond certification from...

  • 1990: Listen Without Prejudice Vol. 1
  • 1996: Older
  • 1999: Songs from the Last Century
    Songs from the Last Century
    Songs from the Last Century is an album of cover versions by singer George Michael and acclaimed producer Phil Ramone, released in December 1999...

  • 2004: Patience

Tours

  • Faith World Tour
    Faith World Tour
    The Faith World Tour was the supporting concert tour of George Michael's massively popular Faith album.-History:George Michael embarked on his massive sold out world tour in 1988. In the set list of the show there were a couple of songs from the Wham! era and some standards like "Lady Marmalade"...

     (1988–1989)
  • Cover to Cover
    Cover to Cover tour
    In 1991 George Michael embarked in the "Cover to Cover Tour" in United Kingdom, Brazil, Japan, Canada and the United States.The tour was not a proper promotion for Listen Without Prejudice Vol. 1. Rather, it was more about George singing his favourite cover songs...

     (1991)
  • 25 Live
    25 Live
    25 Live was a concert tour by English singer / songwriter George Michael. The tour was the most commercially successful tour of 2006–2007 in Europe. The tour has grossed over $200 million, with positive reviews from music critics. The 106 tour shows were performed in 41 countries and seen by 2...

     (2006–2008)
  • George Michael Live in Australia
    George Michael Live in Australia
    George Michael Live in Australia was a concert tour by English singer / songwriter George Michael. For the first time since his Faith tour in 1988 George Michael is returning to Australia in 2010 to perform his LIVE concert.-History:...

     (2010)
  • Symphonica Tour
    Symphonica Tour
    The Symphonica Tour is an orchestral concert tour by George Michael. The singer performs the songs mainly from "Songs from the Last Century" and "Patience" albums as well as some cover versions in new arrangements.-Background:...

     (2011)


See also


External links

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