George Michael was an English singer, songwriter, and record producer, better known for being part of the duo group “Wham!” He was born on June 25, 1963, in East Finchley, as Georgios Kyriacos Panayiotou to a family of Greek ancestry. When Michael was a teenager, his family moved to Radlett where he met his future musical partner, Andrew Ridgeley. The duo formed a ska band called “The Executive” with their friends but it was short-lived.
In 1981, Michael and Ridgeley formed the duo group, prompting the singer to legally change his name to “George Michael.” They released their first two albums, “Fantastic” and “Make It Big,” in 1983 and 1984 respectively. Both albums dominated the US Billboard 200 and UK Albums Chart with their hit singles, “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go” and “Last Christmas.” The following year, the pair were invited on a nationwide tour of China, becoming the first Western musical act to do so.
By 1987, Michael embarked on a solo career and released his debut album “Faith.” The album dominated the Billboard 200 for weeks and spawned four hit singles. During the award season, Michael became the best-selling artist of the year and took home the Album of the Year Award at the 1989 Grammy Awards. The singer’s consecutive albums were also commercial successes, including “Listen Without Prejudice Vol. 1” (1990), “Older” (1996), and “Ladies & Gentlemen: The Best of George Michael” (1998).
Throughout his career, Michael won three Brit Awards, four MTV Video Music Awards, two Grammy Awards, and more than ten Billboard Music Awards. He was also inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2023. Unfortunately, the singer’s life was cut short and he died of a heart attack on Christmas Day in 2016. So, for younger fans who are still getting to know the Wham! superstar, they may be wondering: was George Michael gay? Let’s find out below.
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George Michael’s Relationships
Although the singer was well-known worldwide, Michael lived a relatively private life behind the scenes. Every now and then, little details about his relationships would slip to the tabloids, but he was a gentleman enough to not kiss and tell. Over the years, the singer was associated with many famous public figures, both men and women. Here’s a quick look at the important people in Michael’s life.
George Michael and Brooke Shields (1980s)
During the 1980s, Michael met American actress and socialite, Brooke Shields, through her mother and manager, Teri Shields. It’s unclear when the couple actually started dating or when they broke up, but Shields maintained that their relationship was never sexual. In her 2014 memoir, the actress mentioned Michael and described him as a sweet and respectful partner.
Unfortunately, the relationship eventually ran its course. Shields remembered the moment when Michael broke up with her. Apparently, they were on their way to a friend’s party when the singer told her that they had to take a break because he needed to focus on his career. While Shields was devastated, she didn’t feel that the affair was a loss. They remained on good terms until his death and the actress only had good things to say about her ex-boyfriend.
George Michael and Anselmo Feleppa (1991)
In 1991, during a rock concert in Rio, Michael met his “first great love,” Anselmo Feleppa. The latter worked as a fashion designer and was in the crowd while the singer was performing. Michael recalled that he found Feleppa’s presence distracting but the two eventually met backstage. The pair’s chemistry was undeniable and they hit it off immediately.
According to Michael, it was with Feleppa that he started to feel proud of his sexuality as a gay man. For the first time in his life, he was able to live, relax, and simply enjoy life. The singer referred to Feleppa as “the first person he had ever loved.”
Sadly, six months into the relationship, Feleppa was diagnosed with HIV and died the following year. It was Feleppa’s death that prompted Michael to finally come out to his parents. His lover’s passing devasted the singer and sent him into a deep state of depression. It didn’t help that Michael’s mother also passed away a couple of years later. It took the singer a long time before he was finally able to recover from his losses.
George Michael and Kenny Goss (1996)
In 1996, Michael entered a long-term relationship with Kenny Goss, a former flight attendant and businessman. It was his romantic partnership with Goss that encouraged the singer to come out in public. The pair were two years into their relationship when Michael sat down for an interview with CNN.
Michael also shared that they had plans to get married since the Civil Partnerships Bill was passed. Unfortunately, the couple never made it down the aisle and broke up in 2009. Michael didn’t speak up about the split until two years later when he addressed the issue during a concert. Fortunately, the pair remained good friends and continued managing the Goss-Michael Foundation.
George Michael and Fadi Fawaz (2012)
At the time of his death, Michael was in a relationship with hairstylist, Fadi Fawaz. According to reports, it was Fawaz who discovered the singer’s body on December 25, 2016. The initial investigation actually suspected Fawaz in Michael’s death, but suspicions were ruled out immediately.
However, it didn’t help the public’s view when the stylist was arrested a few years later. Based on the sources, Fawaz was unhappy that Michael didn’t include him in his will and the singer’s relatives were trying to ice him out.
Was George Michael Gay?
Yes, George Michael was gay. The singer first came out in a live interview with CNN in 1998. During that time, he was still in a relationship with Kenny Goss. Most of his romantic affairs were with men, so it’s safe to say that Michael was gay.