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If you have not heard of George Michael, then it means you are not conversant with the song “Careless Whisper” that was a hit during the 80’s. In fact, Stevie Wonder, Mary J Blige, Elton John, Mark Ronson, Nile Rodgers and Liam Gallagher highly rated him–who seemed chuffed to have come up with the phrase: “Modern-day Elvis”.

 Georgios Kyriacos Panayiotou, known as George Michael, was an English singer, songwriter, record producer, and philanthropist who rose to fame as a member of the music duo Wham! He was widely known for his work in the 1980s and 1990s, including hit singles such as “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go” and “Last Christmas”, and albums such as Faith (1987) and Listen Without Prejudice Vol. 1 (1990). 

George Michael was born in London, England, on June 25, 1963. He formed the band Wham! as a teenager with his high school friend Andrew Ridgeley. The duo had their first worldwide hit with “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go” in 1984. Two years later after his first hit with Andrew Ridgeley George Michael went solo.

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After studying the biography of George Michael, I noticed he took important steps that led him to stardom. Please follow these steps:

1. He Recreated His Image

Two years after their first hit as a band, George Michael recreated his image as a solo artist. Michael earned his first Grammy Award for a duet with soul icon Aretha Franklin. Their single, “I Knew You Were Waiting,” won Best R&B Performance by a Duo with a vocal in 1987. Michael pressed forward that same year to record an impressive debut with Faith (1987). While he was releasing these songs, he tried to shed his teen heartthrob image for an edgier look. A look that often made him wore a sporting leather jacket and stubble. This changed the perception the public had about him as people could tie his look to his style of music.  The new image made him take a funkier direction as well with the album. Driven in part by the number one title track, the recording reached the top of the album charts. Other hits included “Father Figure,” “Monkey,” and “One More Try.” This is one aspect every artiste who wants to go solo should consider.

2. He Went Solo in His Career

Michael knew when to go decision to go solo. Even though he started as a group, he knew when it necessary to go solo.  Even when he had issues with his record label, he knew it was the best the decision he would have taken. He got positive reviews with the songs like: “Listen Without Prejudice, Vol. 1 “the album only sold about 1 million copies. In 1991, Michael reprised “Don’t Let the Sun Go Down On Me,” his duet with Elton John, for charity. It became a No. 1 hit, with the proceeds going to London Lighthouse, an AIDS hospice, and the Rainbow Trust Children’s Charity.  When he got free from his contract with Sony, Michael released the album Older in 1996. Two tracks, “Jesus to a Child” and “Fastlove,” broke into the top 10 in the United States as did the album.

3. Controversy Almost Destroyed His Career

I advise artiste to stay away from controversy because it can ruin their career.  Michael made the headlines this time for the wrong reason. They arrested him for libidinous conduct in a men’s room at a public park in Los Angeles, California. This was a big one that almost destroyed his career. There was so much pressure on him he had to acknowledge on a Television appearance he was homosexual. There had been speculation about his sexual orientation over the years, but this was his first public statement on the matter.

Police arrested Michael in February 2006 on suspicion of illegal drugs in London. According to a report, the singer said in a statement it was his fault as usual. These two converses almost destroyed his career. To salvage it, a few months later, Michael announced that he was going on tour for the first time in 15 years. Controversy is the easiest way to destroy your career as an artiste.

4. His Comeback Was Intentional

Now Michael knew he had been on the media for the wrong reasons and needed to resurrect his career. In 2008, he then made several appearances, released Twenty Five stateside and guest-starred on the television series Eli Stone as a musical guardian angel of sorts in the United States. All this was to correct people’s perception of him. The show also featured some of his classic hits. He performed on the series finale of the popular musical competition show American Idol before embarking on a national tour in the summer of 2008.

George Michael died on December 25, 2016, at 53. An autopsy later revealed that the pop star had died from natural causes related to heart and liver disease.

Michael should have achieved more, but limited himself by the decisions he made. Think about it and make the right decisions for your own career before it’s late.

 

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