George Michael: 20 Essential Songs

The best of the pop icon's hits, duets and reinventions

Wham!, "Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go" (1984)

Though they already had four monster hits and even a Top 20 single, "Megamix," in their native U.K., George Michael and Andrew Ridgely didn't make their United States breakthrough until this giddy, finger-snapping, jitterbugging chart-topper. Inspired by a note Ridgely left his mom – tired from a night of clubbing, he wrote "up up" in a drowsy stupor and appended "go go" as a joke – Michael made giddy bubblegum that fits right into America's post–Big Chill Motown-era nostalgia craze. "I think 'Go-Go' is undoubtedly the most remembered Wham! song because it is that much more stupid than anything else," Michael once said with a laugh.