Is your surname Panayiotou?

Research the Panayiotou family

Share your family tree and photos with the people you know and love

  • Build your family tree online
  • Share photos and videos
  • Smart Matching™ technology
  • Free!

Georgios Kyriacos Panayiotou

Greek: Γεώργιος Κυριάκος Παναγιώτου
Also Known As: "George Michael", "Georgios Kyriacos Panayiotou"
Birthplace: East Finchley, Greater London, England, United Kingdom
Death: December 25, 2016 (53)
At home (Mill Cottage), Goring-on-Thames, Oxfordshire, England, United Kingdom (dilated cardiomyopathy with myocarditis and fatty liver)
Place of Burial: Highgate Cemetery (West) Highgate, London Borough of Camden, Greater London, England
Immediate Family:

Son of Private and Lesley Angold Panagiotou
Partner of Anselmo Feleppa
Ex-partner of Private
Brother of Melanie Panayiotou and Private

Occupation: Musician, lyricist, philanthropist, author, activist
Managed by: Jason Scott Wills
Last Updated:
view all

Immediate Family

About George Michael

George Michael was an English singer, songwriter, and record producer, who rose to fame as a member (with Andrew Ridgeley) of the music duo Wham!. He was best known in the 1980s and 1990s with his style of post-disco dance-pop, with best-selling songs such as "Last Christmas" and "Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go."

George Michael was born Georgios Kyriacos Panayiotou (Greek: Γεώργιος Κυριάκου Παναγιώτου) on 25 June 1963 in East Finchley, London.[15][16] His father, Kyriacos Panayiotou (nicknamed "Jack"),[17] was a Greek Cypriot restaurateur who emigrated to England in the 1950s.[18] His mother, Lesley Angold (née Harrison, died 1997),[19] was an English dancer.[20] In June 2008, Michael told the Los Angeles Times that his maternal grandmother was Jewish, but she married a non-Jewish man and raised her children with no knowledge of their Jewish background due to her fear during World War II.[21] Michael spent most of his childhood in Kingsbury, London, in the home his parents bought soon after his birth; he attended Roe Green Junior School and Kingsbury High School.[22][23] Michael had two sisters: Yioda (born 1958) and Melanie (1960–2019).[19][24]

While he was in his early teens, the family moved to Radlett. There, Michael attended Bushey Meads School in Bushey, where he befriended his future Wham! partner Andrew Ridgeley. The two had the same career ambition of being musicians.[17] Michael busked on the London Underground, performing songs such as "'39" by Queen.[25] His involvement in the music business began with his working as a DJ, playing at clubs and local schools around Bushey, Stanmore, and Watford. This was followed by the formation of a short-lived ska band called The Executive, with Ridgeley, Ridgeley's brother Paul, Andrew Leaver, and David Mortimer (later known as David Austin).[26] On the cusp of fame, he decided to legally change his name to the more accessible George Michael.[2]

Michael sold more than 100 million records worldwide. His 1987 debut solo album, Faith, sold more than 20 million copies worldwide. Michael garnered seven number one singles in the UK and eight number one hits on the Billboard Hot 100 in the US, including "Careless Whisper" and "Freedom! '90." He ranks among the best-selling British acts of all time, with Billboard magazine ranking him the 40th most successful artist to ever live. Michael won various music awards throughout his 30-year career, including three Brit Awards—winning Best British Male twice, four MTV Video Music Awards, four Ivor Novello Awards, three American Music Awards, and two Grammy Awards from eight nominations.

In 2004, the Radio Academy named Michael the most played artist on British radio during the period 1984–2004. The documentary A Different Story, released in 2005, covered his career and personal life. In 2006, Michael announced his first tour in 15 years, the worldwide 25 Live tour, spanning three individual tours over the course of three years (2006, 2007 and 2008). In 2016, Michael announced a second documentary on his life entitled Freedom, set to be released in March 2017. On 25 December 2016, Michael died at his Oxfordshire home at the age of 53.

Maintained by: Find A Grave Originally Created by: David Peltier Added: 25 Dec 2016 Find A Grave Memorial 174391357

Singer, Musician, Entertainer, Songwriter, Producer, Philanthropist. George Michael started his career as part of the pop duo Wham! with Andrew Ridgeley. Later he would embark on an extremely successful solo career which would last nearly thirty years. He was the youngest of three children and became obsessed with music early in his childhood when his mother gave him a few 45 rpm records and an old gramophone. His love of music saw him busking on the London Underground with friend, David Mortimer. He also worked as a DJ at the Bel Air restaurant near Bushey. Songwriting was a natural next step for him and he penned "Careless Whisper" at the age of 17 when he was on his way to his Bel Air job. It was around this time that he and Ridgeley became more serious about their music and they, along with friends, David Mortimer, Andrew Leaver and Paul Ridgeley, formed a ska band called "The Executive". The band had some local success but it wasn't long before they decided to go their separate ways. Michael and Ridgeley would continue to write music in their spare time and would eventually record a demo tape at Ridgeley's house, which included "Wham Rap!," "Club Tropicana," "Come On" and a sampling of "Careless Whisper." They took their demo tape to several music publishers and were quickly turned down. Ridgeley then decided to give the tape to his neighbor, Mark Dean, who had some success with CBS, the sponsors of his new label, Innervision. Wham! were signed with Innervision in March 1982. Their big break would come when they appeared on the popular British program, Top of the Pops, in November. Wham! became one of the most commercially successful pop acts of the early to mid-1980s, selling more than 30 million records worldwide. They had such hits as, "Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go," "Freedom," "Everything She Wants", "I'm Your Man", "The Edge of Heaven", "Last Christmas" and of course, "Careless Whisper." In 1985 Wham! became the first Western pop group to tour China. They also received a Brit Award for British Group and Careless Whisper was Billboard Year-End Number One Single. That same year Michael and Ridgeley appeared at Live Aid, with Michael taking center stage to sing "Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me." Elton John accompanied him on the piano and Ridgeley joined the backing vocalists for the performance. He would also lend his voice to a recording for David Cassidy as well as performing on two singles for Elton John. He won the Ivor Novello Award for Songwriter of the Year for the first time. Many of the songs he had been writing were not the typical Wham! sound. The announcement came that Wham! would officially breakup and on June 28, 1986, at London's Wembley Stadium, Wham! gave their final concert with 72,000 people in attendance. Special guests, like Elton John and Simon Le Bon, also performed. George Michael would begin his solo career by recording a duet with one of his favorite artist, Aretha Franklin. Their duet "I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me)" marked his fourth number-one single in the United States, including his singles with Wham! He would later release his first solo album, "Faith." "Faith" topped the United Kingdom Charts and in the United States, the album had 51 non-consecutive weeks in the top 10 of Billboard 200, including 12 weeks at No. 1. and it was the first album by a white solo artist to hit number one on the United States Rhythm and Blues Albums. "Faith" produced six top-five Billboard Hot 100 hits, four of which reached number one; making him the only British male solo artist to have four number one hits from one album on the record chart. The album earned him numerous accolades. At the 1989 Grammy Awards he won Album of the Year. Additionally, he won three awards at the 1989 American Music Awards; they include: Favorite Pop/Rock Male Artist, Favorite Soul/R&B Male Artist and Favorite Soul/ Rhythm and Blues Album. "Listen Without Prejudice Vol. 1" was the follow-up album to "Faith" and was released in 1990. It produced five singles, "Praying for Time," "Waiting for that Day," "Freedom! '90," "Heal the Pain" and "Cowboys and Angels." In the United Kingdom the album spent a total of 88 weeks in the album charts. It was certified platinum four times by the BPI on January 2, 1992. Sales in the United States were not as good. He and Sony Music Entertainment (United Kingdom) Ltd. had some differences of opinion on how to promote the album in the United States which led him to file suit against Sony. Michael lost the case. The intended album, "Listen Without Prejudice Vol. 2" was never realized due to the lawsuit with Sony. Instead, he donated three songs to Red Hot + Dance which raised money for AIDS awareness. In 1992 he performed at The Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert at Wembley Stadium, with all proceeds going to AIDS research. He performed Queen hits "39," "These are the Days of our Lives" and he gave an outstanding rendition of "Somebody to Love." It has been said his performance at this concert was among the best performances of the night. He continued to have success in Europe with his third album "Older" and such hits as "Fastlove" and "Jesus to a Child." In 1996 he was voted Best British Male at the MTV Europe Music Awards and the Brit Awards. He was also awarded the British Academy's Ivor Novello Award for Songwriter of the Year for the third time. His fourth album, "Ladies & Gentlemen: The Best of George Michael" reached No. 1 on the United Kingdom Album Charts and remained there for eight weeks. It spent over 200 weeks on the United Kingdom charts altogether (1998-2017), and it was the 38th best-selling album of all time in that country. In all, George Michael has sold over 115 million records worldwide. He has performed with such artists as Elton John, Stevie Wonder, Queen, Aretha Franklin, Whitney Houston, Mary J. Blige, Tony Bennett, Paul Young and Paul McCartney. He performed at sell-out concerts all over the world and he received numerous accolades for his contributions to the music industry. In addition to the gift he has given the world with his music, he donated royalties from several singles to various causes and performed for countless charity concerts. Following his death, many charities revealed that he had been supporting them for many years and had given them "millions" of dollars. He did so anonymously. His untimely death shocked the world. It was determined that he died of fatty liver and dilated cardiomyopathy with myocarditis. He was laid to rest in a private ceremony on March 29, 2017, in Highgate Cemetery, next to his mother.

Bio by: GenealogyByBrenda

view all

George Michael's Timeline

June 25, 1963
East Finchley, Greater London, England, United Kingdom
December 25, 2016
Age 53
At home (Mill Cottage), Goring-on-Thames, Oxfordshire, England, United Kingdom
Highgate Cemetery (West) Highgate, London Borough of Camden, Greater London, England