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Things We Bet You Never Knew About…George Michael

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Pop music gets a bad rap sometimes. You might be one of those people who swears they never listen to artists like Britney Spears or Kesha (we’re not judging!), but have you ever jammed to the beat of Michael Jackson, Adele or even Sia? If yes, then guess what, you’re not so different to the rest of us ;).


Pop music is what it is because it’s straight-up popular! Sure, what we call pop music today can sometimes be considered well…questionable. But if you listen to the hits of the 80s and 90s, I dare you to find a pop artist you don’t like. One artist in particular that symbolized 80s and 90s pop? George Michael.


While he sadly left this world on Christmas 2016, his pop music is a stuff of legend! Careless Whisper, Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go, Tropic Cabana, Freedom, Outside? Chances you’ve heard these tunes already. If not, clearly you need some radiovolo in your life!


In our continued quest to documenting some of the best musicians of yesteryear, we’ve rounded up seven interesting facts of one of the world’s biggest pop stars we bet you never knew…


  1. How fast can you say his official name?

You probably thought he was just super English having two first names didn’t you? Well there’s a reason! Being the son of a Greek, George’s original full name was Georgios Kyriacos Panayiotou (try saying that five times fast!). The name George Michael was adopted of course for ease. He was named after his restaurateur poppa, Kyriacos Panayiotou.


  1. And you thought you loved the Beatles…

Beatles mega fan George Michael got lucky once at an auction, and walked away with the Steinway Model Z piano once owned by John Lennon! He bought the piano in 2000 for US$2 million and sent it to, but where else, the Beatles Story Museum in Liverpool for the public to admire.



  1. He was once too hot for his own videos!

True story: George banned himself from his own mega hit video Freedom because his pop stardom was getting too big! He rather let his voice do the cooing and opted instead to feature some of the world’s biggest models at the time – nice try Sia, but someone beat you to the punch ;-)


  1. He was fit for the Queen!

Well not THE Queen. George Michael was sincerely considered once to take Freddie Mercury’s spot in Queen after Freddie’s untimely death. Queen might have suffered without his amazing voice, but the rest of the pop world sure did benefit!


  1. How much did you ever make in an hour?

Wealthy Russian businessman Vladimir Potanin decided to hose a New Year’s Eve party in 2006. But he was missing that one special wow (Wham?) factor. Enter in George to help ring in the New Year! Oh, and how much did he get paid for 1 hour of performing? US$2 million large!!!


  1. There’s a reason he always wore glasses

George was partially colour-blind, making it hard for him to differentiate certain shapes and figures from a distance, and he wore contacts or his iconic shades regular to help correct it.


  1. He had some interesting nicknames

In what would probably be considered politically incorrect in any other circumstance, George had some clever nicknames given to him by friends an family, including Yog (Greek pronunciation of Georgios), TLTI (The Legend That Is), Knobby, the Greek, and the Bubble!



Ellie Kate

Amadou is an American-raised, Hong Kong-based writer, communicator, and all-around lover of travel & food. He speaks four foreign languages and loves recommending new and exciting things to people whenever they go somewhere new. When not managing  his day job, you’ll probably find him at a happy hour or at the park with his Maltese Terrier, Maxx.