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Timeline : George Michael

June 25, 1963

George Michael is born Georgios Kyriacos Panayiotou in East Finchley, London, England.

November 17, 1984

Ten weeks after its first appearance in the Hot 100 at #80, Wham!'s single "Wake Me Up Before You Go Go" reaches #1. George Michael and Andrew Ridgeley hold their lead for three weeks.

April 7, 1985

Wham! become the first Western pop group to play in China when they perform at the Worker's Gymnasium in Beijing. Footage from their trip appears in the video for their song "Freedom."More

April 18, 1987

Aretha Franklin and George Michael's duet "I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me)" hits #1 in the US, returning Franklin to the top spot for the first time since "Respect" in 1967. The feat breaks the record for the longest span between #1 hits.More

October 30, 1987

George Michael releases his first solo album, Faith. Packed with hits ("I Want Your Sex," "Father Figure," the title track), it goes to #1 in both the UK and US, and wins the Grammy Award for Album of the Year.

April 10, 1988

George Michael and Madonna are "honored" at the 8th Golden Raspberry Awards, where the former Wham! singer takes Worst Original Song for "I Want Your Sex," the #2 hit featured in Beverly Hills Cop II, and Madonna is named Worst Actress for her role as Nikki Finn in Who's That Girl. It's Madge's second consecutive win in the category, having landed the prize the year before for her role in Shanghai Surprise.

May 28, 1988

George Michael's "One More Try" tops the Hot 100 for the first of three weeks.

July 12, 1988

Playgirl magazine publishes their list of the 10 sexiest rockers. They are: George Michael LL Cool J Bryan Ferry Michael Hutchence of INXS Richard Marx John Cougar Mellencamp Bret Michaels of Poison Larry Mullen Jr. of U2 Robert Plant Terence Trent D'Arby

September 3, 1990

George Michael releases his second solo album, Listen Without Prejudice Vol. 1. Looking to avoid the pitfalls that overwhelmed him after his debut Faith, Michael refuses to tour in support of the album and won't appear in the music videos.More

October 30, 1992

George Michael sues his record label, Sony, calling his contract "professional slavery." Michael, who is seeking control of his masters and escape from his 8-album deal, loses the case and is ordered to pay court costs for both sides. In 1995, Virgin and Dreamworks SKG buy his contract from Sony, and Michael resumes his music career with the album Older the following year.

June 21, 1994

A judge rules against George Michael in his lawsuit against his record label, Sony, derailing his music career for two years.More

July 11, 1995

George Michael signs a two-album deal split among two labels: Virgin in the UK and Dreamworks SKG in America. As part of the deal, Sony Records is paid $40 million to release Michael from his contract; after releasing his 1990 album Listen Without Prejudice Vol. 1, he refused to record for the label and filed a lawsuit seeking release from his contract, which he lost.

April 10, 1998

Three days after being arrested in a Los Angeles park for lewd conduct, George Michael comes out as gay in an interview with CNN. "I have no problem with people knowing that I'm in a relationship with a man right now," he says.

April 7, 1998

George Michael is arrested for disorderly conduct at a park restroom in Beverly Hills, California, after an undercover officer observes him performing a "lewd act." He comes out as gay soon after.More

May 14, 1998

George Michael pleads no contest in Beverly Hills Municipal Court to committing a lewd act in a park restroom.

October 17, 2000

At a charity auction organized by Mick Fleetwood in London, George Michael pays £1.5 million for the upright piano on which John Lennon wrote the 1971 hit "Imagine."

June 4, 2002

George Michael is jeered and heckled by the audience of a CNN news show as he defends the video for his new single "Shoot The Dog," in which US President George Bush is shown in bed with UK Prime Minister Tony Blair. Michael says it is an attack on Blair and not President Bush.

November 23, 2011

In Austria, George Michael is hospitalized mid-tour due to a serious bout with pneumonia. All remaining tour dates are postponed as the singer is placed in intensive care.

December 25, 2016

George Michael dies of heart failure aged just 53 in bed at his riverside home in Goring-on-Thames, Oxfordshire. He is found by his boyfriend, Australian hair stylist Fadi Fawaz.More

March 14, 2019

George Michael's art collection is auctioned at Christie's in London, raising about $12 million to continue his charity work.

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