George Michael: 20 Essential Songs
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Revisit 20 essential George Michael songs, from his days in Wham! to his late-period dance singles. Mirrorpix/Newscom/ZUMA

Following his early-Eighties breakthrough with Wham!, George Michael swiftly transitioned from teenage pretty boy to outspoken pop force. "I think it says something for the power of the music," he told Rolling Stone after the release of his smash 1987 solo debut, Faith, "that I've managed to change the perception of what I do to the degree that I have in this short a time. Because it's something that a lot of people thought wasn't possible." In the years that followed, the singer-songwriter would go on to collaborate with idols such as Aretha Franklin and Elton John, and confront social and sexual taboos in increasingly bold fashion on four Number One albums and a lengthy string of Top 10 singles. Here are 20 of the Michael's best, from Wham!'s breakthrough up through his final U.S. hit.