Georgios Kyriacos Panayiotou (25 June 1963 – 25 December 2016), known professionally as George Michael, was an English singer, songwriter, and record producer of paternal Greek Cypriot and maternal English descent who rose to fame as a member (with Andrew Ridgeley) of the music duo Wham!. He was best known in the 1980s and 1990s with his style of post-disco dance-pop, with best-selling songs such as "Last Christmas" and "Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go".
Michael sold more than 100 million records worldwide. His 1987 debut solo album, Faith, sold more than 20 million copies worldwide. Michael garnered seven number one singles in the UK and eight number one hits on the Billboard Hot 100 in the US, including "Careless Whisper" and "Freedom! '90". He ranks among the best-selling British acts of all time, with Billboard magazine ranking him the 40th-most successful artist to ever live. Michael won various 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, three American Music Awards, and two Grammy Awards from eight nominations.
Links To Peel
Peel played George Michael's group Wham! on at least one occasion, his comment then mirroring his own attitude that music did not have to be unpopular to be good, and introduced several of their appearances on Top Of The Pops. He also attended their overblown final concert at Wembley on 28 June 1986, writing a not altogether critical piece on it for the Observer, describing the experience as "instructive." Despite this, Peel acknowledged in the piece that:
"George Michael has a strong pop-soul voice and he writes vexingly catchy songs....Wham! have survived where others have not simply because they have kept working, never making the fatal assumption that they could lay off for a year, then pick up where they left off." ('Wham!,' an Observer article, reprinted in The Olivetti Chronicles, Corgi edition, pp.448-9.)
Peel was not a fan of George Michael's solo career and on Top Of The Pops on 05 February 1987 (TOTP) after the appearance of Michael's duet with Aretha Franklin, which reached number one in the UK singles chart, he commented that "she can make any old rubbish sound good, and I think she just has!". Aside from Top Of The Pops, Peel did play the live Queen single 'Somebody To Love', which featured George Michael's guest vocal, whilst sitting in for Jakki Brambles in April 1993.
- None for Michael's solo work.
- (Guest vocal on Queen single):
- 07 April 1993 (John Peel Is Jakki Brambles): Somebody To Love (EP - Five Live) Parlophone
- 08 April 1993 (John Peel Is Jakki Brambles): Somebody To Love (EP - Five Live) Parlophone
- 09 April 1993 (John Peel Is Jakki Brambles): Somebody To Love (EP - Five Live) Parlophone
Top Of The Pops
- 25 December 1985 (TOTP): Careless Whisper (video clip)
- 03 April 1986 (TOTP): A Different Corner (#4) (video)
- 05 February 1987 (TOTP): I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me) (#1) (video)
(The list below was compiled only from the Cover Versions page of this site. Please add more information if known.)
Artist | Track | First Known Play
- Big Flame: Testament To The Slow Death Of Youth Culture (Wake Me Up When It's Over) (session) 12 May 1986 (Song with different title is based on Wham!'s Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go, written by George Michael)
- Thriller U: Careless Whisper 27 February 1990
- Terence Tsoi: Careless Whisper 01 December 1986