George Michael (born Georgios Kyriacos Panayiotou; 25 June 1963 – 25 December 2016) was an English singer, songwriter, record producer, and philanthropist who rose to fame as a member of the music duo Wham! and later embarked on a solo career. He was widely known for his work in the 1980s and 1990s, including Wham! singles such as "Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go" and "Last Christmas" and solo albums such as Faith (1987) and Listen Without Prejudice Vol. 1 (1990).
Michael achieved seven number one singles in the UK and eight number one songs on the Billboard Hot 100 in the US, including "Careless Whisper", "Praying for Time" and "Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me". In 2004, the Radio Academy named Michael the most played artist on British radio during the period 1984–2004. Michael ranks among the best-selling British musical acts, selling over 115 million records worldwide according to Billboard magazine. In 2008, he was ranked 40th on Billboard's list of the Greatest Hot 100 Artists of All Time. Michael won various music awards throughout his 30-year career, including three Brit Awards—winning Best British Male twice, four MTV Video Music Awards, six Ivor Novello Awards, three American Music Awards, and two Grammy Awards from eight nominations. Michael's first tour in 15 years, the 25 Live tour, spanned three tours over the course of three years (2006, 2007, and 2008). He performed his final concert at London's Earls Court on 17 October 2012.
Michael, who came out as gay in 1998, was an active LGBT rights campaigner and HIV/AIDS charity fundraiser. Michael's personal life and legal troubles made headlines during the late 1990s and 2000s, as he was arrested for public lewdness in 1998 and was arrested for multiple drug-related offenses after that time. The 2005 documentary A Different Story covered his career and personal life. In the early hours of 25 December 2016, Michael, aged 53, was found dead at his home in Goring-on-Thames, Oxfordshire. A coroner's report attributed his death to natural causes.