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George Michael: 20 Essential Songs

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

George Michael: 20 Essential Songs

Revisit 20 essential George Michael songs, from his days in Wham! to his late-period dance singles.

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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.

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“Amazing” (2004)

Michael's final Top 10 single in the U.S. was a dancey soft-rock number about how love changed the singer's life, and it was based on his relationship with Kenny Goss, his partner from the mid-Nineties through 2009. He also drew inspiration from his days dancing at clubs in the London suburbs before he was famous and claimed that the song reminded him of his time as a pop idol. "'Amazing' reminds me of Wham! more than anything else I've done," he once said. "The work I’ve done over the last 12 years might have a certain intensity or depth, but nothing has had the energy of the earlier work. I think it's come with the relief of feeling good again."

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