Just over two weeks since the devastating news of the late George Michael broke. The British superstar sold over 100 million records worldwide and has left such a mark on the music industry. Like Bowie and Prince who also sadly passed away in 2016, his legacy will live on.
George broke onto the scene in the early 80’s with Wham! who were one of the biggest duo’s in music. They went to to have hits globally with ‘Wake Me Up (Before You Go-Go)’ and ‘Club Tropicana’ to name a few and ended on their peak in 1986 but luckily George continued as a solo artist and never looked back..
Here are 15 of my favourite solo George singles ranked:
15. Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me (with Elton John)
‘Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me’ was George’s famous duet with Elton John that was no doubt a huge chart topper! The live recording which was the single version re-released for Elton’s Duets album showcases how incredible both the legends’ voices are and how proud the UK are to have such icons. The single was for charity and the proceeds from the single were divided among 10 different charities for children, AIDS and education.
14. As (with Mary J. Blige)
George and Mary J. Blige team up together to cover Stevie Wonder’s ‘As’ in 1999. The uplifting soulful track was a top 5 single for the pair and was produced by legendary R&B producer Babyface.
Faith, one of George’s signature singles and the title of his famous debut album was released in 1987. The single stayed at #1 in the US for four weeks and according to Billboard Magazine, it was the #1 in the US in 1988. The music video remains one of the most iconic videos in music defining the 80’s decade.
12. Flawless (Go To The City)
Released in 2004, it samples ‘Flawless’, originally recorded by the electronic music band The Ones which in turn samples ‘Keep On Dancin’ (1978), originally recorded by Gary’s Gang. The single was very popular on the US dance charts and was another top 10 single for George in the UK.
11. I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me) (with Aretha Franklin)
What happens when the queen and king of soul team up together? They create a worldwide #1 classic in 1987!
10. Spinning The Wheel
A very dark single released from Michael in August of 1996. ‘Spinning The Wheel’ was kept off the #1 spot in the UK from the Spice Girls and is such a little gem in George’s discography. As always, the vocals from George are soft and smooth but the production is jazzy with hints of hip-hop.
09. You Have Been Loved
Initially written about his ex-partner who died of AIDS in 1993, George also dedicated this song to his mother on his 2012 tour. Us George Michael fans now dedicate this to him.
Another US #1 single taken from the Faith album in 1988. Overall a weird song but that’s what makes it so brilliant.
07. Freedom ’90
Iconic song. Iconic video.
‘Amazing’ became his third release to reach the top on the Billboard’s Hot Dance Club Songs chart and was another top 5 single in the UK.
‘Freeek!’ was the first single to be released from Michael’s 2004 album Patience. The song contains samples from ‘Try Again’ by Aaliyah, ‘Breathe and Stop’ by Q-Tip, and ‘N.T.’ by Kool & the Gang. The song peaked at number seven on the UK Singles Chart and also peaked within the top ten in many other European countries. It topped the charts in Spain, Italy, Portugal and Denmark, the first time that George Michael hit number one in these countries since ‘Careless Whisper’.
In 1996, George had reached a whole new peak in the UK. Fastlove went on to be another number 1 straight after his previous single ‘Jesus To A Child’ had topped the charts. The single earned him a couple of BRIT nominations, three MTV VMA nominations and won the International Viewer’s Choice Award—MTV Europe.
03. I Want Your Sex
‘I Want Your Sex’ became George Michael’s second post-Wham! hit single around the world after the song ‘I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me)’, his duet with Aretha Franklin from earlier that same year. The single peaked at #2 in the US and #3 in the UK.
02. Too Funky
Not only did ‘Too Funky’ become yet another top 5 single for George but it was the most played song in Europe in 1992.
01. Careless Whisper
The official first solo George Michael single. Taken from Wham!’s ‘Make It Big’ album, it was released as a single in 1984 and was the first global hit for George. A taster of what could come his way if he were to peruse a solo career. It reached number one in nearly 25 countries, selling about six million copies worldwide, two million of them in the United States.