25 Rare Facts About George Michael You Didn't Know

Hands up if you're a George Michael fan through and through? Have you seen James Corden's emotional tribute about George inspiring Carpool Karaoke? Or sung these top 21 George Michael songs on repeat? If not (or you fancy it again) have a free 14 day trial to Lucky Voice Online Karaoke to sing to your heart's content! In honour of the late but great George Michael, here are 25 facts about the music legend that you may not know already.  

1. George Michael was known for his impactful contribution to charities - but it wasn't until recently that we knew the full extent of his generosity. Since his passing on December 25th 2016, members of the public have come forward with stories about his sizeable donations including examples such as: a female contestant on 'Deal or No Deal' receiving £15,000 to fund her IVF treatment after George Michael saw her on the show and secretly phoned her afterwards. A stranger also received a cheque of £25,000 to pay her outstanding debts when George
 overheard her crying in a cafe he was in.  

2. In this career, George Michael won a total of 19 awards out of 51 nominations including winning Best Male Vocalist for both the 'Pop/Rock' AND 'Soul/R&B' categories in 1989 shortly after releasing his debut album Faith. 

3. He recorded a cover of Stevie Wonder's hit "You and I" as a wedding gift to Prince William and Kate Middleton. This was later released in April 2011. 

4. Can you imagine him as the frontman for Queen? He was once actually considered to be Freddie Mercury's replacement! 

5. Remember the piano featured in John Lennon's song "Imagine"? George Michael bought the Steinway Model Z upright piano and donated it to The Beatles' Story museum in Liverpool so the instrument could stay in Lennon's hometown forever.

6. April 1985 marked Wham!’s tour of China, which was incidentally the country's first visit by a Western pop music act. The event went down a treat and generated global media coverage!

7. "Last Christmas" is undeniably a timeless hit - and one that'll continue to be played (and sung) on repeat for years to come. The music industry seems to agree as there's been 400+ cover versions (and counting) of the track since the release in 1984.

8. George Michael performed at a free concert for the medical staff of Vienna General Hospital to thank them for saving his life in 2011.   

9. George Michael made a public speech outside of his house in London on 23rd December 2011 and mentioned that he had undergone a tracheotomy which had resulted in a coma. Shortly after waking up, George Michael revealed that he had a short bout of Foreign Accent Syndrome and had a temporary West Country accent.

10. George Michael was once paid $3 million by Russian billionaire Vladimir Potanin to perform an hour-long New Year’s Eve concert in Moscow.

11. George Michael made his first American acting debut in March 2008 on the US TV show, Eli Stone. His character was a guardian angel that appeared as visions to Jonny Lee Miller’s character. If you're a fan of the show, you might have noticed that each episode of the show’s first season was also named after George Michael songs.

12.  After nearly dying from pneumonia in 2011, he was inspired to sing “White Light” at the 2012 Olympic Closing Ceremony as the song's message of overcoming adversity also fit the Olympic theme at the time.

13. He was once airlifted to hospital after falling out of a car when travelling on the M1...

14. He made a guest appearance at Beyonce's I Am... tour in 2009 and came on stage during the performance of "If I Were A Boy".

15. Going solo paid off and the debut album 'Faith' was a huge success. However, George struggled with the fame that came with it. To avoid a breakdown, he soon took to wearing sunglasses wherever he went to avoid eye contact with strangers. 

16. His song "Fast Love" was written about Brett Charles, a city banker that George Michael met in Kazakhstan whom he had a brief love affair with.

17. George Michael also volunteered at a homeless shelter and requested the workers to keep his involvement a secret.

18. To mark George's debut as a solo artist in 1987, a kickass duet with Aretha Franklin was born. The track "I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me)" was also Franklin's first and only UK number one hit.

19. Feeling overwhelmed by the fame from Faith, George Michael announced in 1990 that he would forgo promotion for his second album 'Listen Without Prejudice Vol. 1' and deny interviews. A week after this press release, Frank Sinatra penned a public letter addressed to George Michael labelling him as a "reluctant pop star" and his speech about the "tragedy of fame". Sinatra encouraged George to think about the situation in a different perspective and to be thankful that his success means he isn't playing to an empty bar. He ended the letter with: "Those who have talent must hug it, embrace it, nurture it and share it lest it be taken away from you as fast as it was loaned to you. Trust me. I've been there" Despite his encouragement, the letter's message didn't work and George Michael continued to avoid any press and interviews until 1996.

20. "Careless Whisper" was one of George Michael's greatest hits, and he was only 17 when he wrote the song! It was written on a bus journey on the way to his work as an usher at the cinema.

21. Remember the iconic Britney and Madonna kiss at the MTV VMAs in 2003? George Michael wanted to recreate the scene with none other than Justin Timberlake. He apparently reached out to Brit's former flame but he never returned his call. 

22. If you listen carefully, you'll be able to hear George's vocals in the background of Elton John's "Nikita".

23. Who's watched George Michael's autobiographical film, A Different Story? It featured impressive guest appearances from the likes of Elton George, Noel Gallagher, Sting, Mariah Carey, Boy George, Simon Cowell, Geri Halliwell and Andrew Ridgeley.

24. Before Michael's music career properly took off, his first performances were performed as a busker on the London Underground.

25. Fans of Wham! may already know this, but he met his fellow band member Andrew Ridgeley at school in Bushey. Ridgely had offered to tutor George - and thus a friendship and Wham! was born.

Share this post: