Georgios Kyriacos Panayiotou was born on June 25, 1963 in London. He began his music career in a ska band called The Executive with his best friends at the time, including guitarist Andrew Ridgeley. After the demise of the band, George and Andrew went on to form Wham! in 1981. The duo's first album, Fantastic, gave them a number of hits in the UK, including 'Young Guns (Go For It),' 'Bad Boys' and 'Club Tropicana.' Their follow-up album, Make It Big, featuring the pop classic 'Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go,' brought George and Andrew worldwide recognition, and the album hit number one in the US. The album also spawned the hits 'Freedom,' 'Everything She Wants' and 'Careless Whisper.' George wanted to create music for a more sophisticated audience and he and Andrew announced in 1996 that Wham! would be disbanding after a final album, Music from the Edge of Heaven, and concert at England's Wembley Stadium. During their five-year career together, George and Andrew sold close to 20 million albums and over 10 million singles. In the summer of 1987, George's first solo album, Faith was released. He held the number one position on the Billboard album chart for 12 weeks with the single 'Faith', which has sold over 20 million copies. He has released several albums since then, and 2006's TwentyFive celebrated George's quarter century in the music business.
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