George Michael (born Georgios Kyriacos Panayiotou Greek:Γεώργιος Κυριάκος Παναγιώτου) (born 25 June 1963), is a two-time Grammy Award winning, English singer-songwriter, who has had a career as Frontman of the duo Wham! As well as a soul-influenced, solopop musician. According to britishhitsongwriters.com he is the fortieth most successful songwriter in U.K. Singles chart history based on weeks that his compositions have spent on the chart.
It was not until Michael formed the duo Wham! Together with Andrew Ridgeley in 1981 that he found success.With the success of Michael's solo singles, "Careless Whisper" (1984) and "A Different Corner" (1986), rumours of an impending Wham! Split intensified. The duo officially separated in the summer of 1986 after releasing a farewell single, "The Edge Of Heaven" 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 officially ended with the commercially unsuccessful single "Where Did Your Heart Go?", which reached a peak position of #50 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart in November 1986.
The second single, "Faith," was released in October 1987, just a few weeks before the album. "Faith" would go on to become one of his most popular songs. The song reached #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 in the USA, and hit #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 a particularly memorable pair of tight Levi's jeans, playing a guitar near a classic-design jukebox. "Faith" reached #1 on 12 December, and remained there for four consecutive weeks.
The album reached #1 in the UK and in several markets worldwide. In the United States, the album had 51 non-consecutive weeks inside the Billboard 200 Top 10, including 12 weeks at #1. "Faith" had many hits, four of which ("Faith," "Father Figure," "One More Try," and "Monkey") reached #1.
Eventually, "Faith" reached Diamond certification by the RIAA for sales of 10 million copies in the US. To date, global sales of Faith are more than 20 million units. The first single, "Praying For Time", was released in August 1990. It was a dark and sombre reflection on social ills and injustice; the song was hailed by critics as it peaked at number 6 in the UK and then reached number 1 on the US Billboard Hot 100 despite the absence of a video.
As successful as the 1974 record had been, it was as a duet that "Don't Let The Sun Go Down On Me" had its greatest success and reached number 1 on the UK singles chart and on the Billboard Hot 100. The song was the only #1 single of the modern era to be recorded at an outdoors venue. Proceeds from the single were divided among 10 different charities for children, AIDS, and education.
The song was Michael's first self-penned hit in his homeland for almost four years and entered the UK singles chart straight at #1and #7 in The Billboard in the same month of release. It became his first solo single to enter the UK charts at the top, and #7 on the Billboard Hot 100 in the USA. 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 George's relationship with Anselmo — was shrouded in innuendo at the time, however, as Michael had not confirmed he was gay, and did not do so until 1998. The video for "Jesus to a Child" was a beautiful picture of images recalling loss, pain, and suffering. Nowadays, Michael consistently dedicates the song to Feleppa before performing it live. [wikipedia]