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Born in London in 1963, Georgios Kyriacos Panayiotou rose to fame in 80s pop duo Wham! which he formed with schoolfriend Andrew Ridgeley in 1981. They produced two number one albums and chart-topping singles "Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go" and "I'm Your Man" as well as top ten tracks such as “Club Tropicana” and "Young Guns (Go for It!)".
After singing on the Band Aid single “Do They Know It's Christmas?” George later released singles “Careless Whisper and "A Different Corner" both of which went to no. 1 in the UK Singles Chart. In 1986 the duo split and released a farewell song, "The Edge of Heaven", and performed a sell-out show at Wembley Stadium.
The Grammy-award-winning "I Knew You Were Waiting", a duet with Aretha Franklin topped the charts on both sides of the Atlantic and in 1987 George Michael released his first solo album Faith. The album has gone on to sell more than 25 million copies worldwide. Four of the tracks from the album hit the top spot on the US Billboard Chart: "Faith", "Father Figure", "One More Try", and "Monkey".
In 1990 the singer songwriter released Listen Without Prejudice without any promotional activity. The album included songs "Freedom! '90" and "Waiting for That Day" and won a BRIT Award for Best Album. Four years later George performed the song "Jesus to a Child", a tribute to his lover who had died in 1993. The track appeared on Older which was released in 1996. The album also included the no.1 single “Fastlove”.
His greatest hits double album Ladies & Gentlemen: The Best of George Michael spawned two further top ten singles “Outside” and “As” and the album itself spent eight weeks at the top of the UK Album Chart.
Following an album of cover songs - Songs from the Last Century – George later released his last studio album Patience in March 2004. One of the fastest selling albums in UK history it went straight in at no.1.
In May 2011 George announced the Symphonica tour playing European dates with an orchestra. After becoming ill with pneumonia in Vienna he postponed the remainder of the tour until late 2012 but also appeared at the BRIT Awards show in 2012 to present fellow singer Adele with her award.
On December 25, 2016 his publicist announced that George Michael had "passed away peacefully at home".
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