The Top 20 George Michael Songs

George Michael
Photo by MJ Kim / Getty Images

George Michael first became popular as part of the duo Wham! in the 1980s. After he split with Andrew Ridgeley, Michael did not miss a beat in becoming a solo star, releasing numerous #1 hits throughout his career.

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

Prior to the release of "Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go," Wham! had released four consecutive top 10 pop hits at home in the U.K. However, the group had failed to make a significant impact on pop charts in the U.S. This song changed all of that, reaching #1 on both sides of the Atlantic. The music video is notable for the oversized Katharine Hamnett t-shirts worn by the duo featuring the slogan "Choose Life."

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"Freedom" - Wham! (1984)

"Freedom" was released as a single at the peak of Wham!'s success. The song was written and produced by George Michael. The memorable music video features the duo during their groundbreaking concert tour in China. "Freedom" climbed to #3 on the U.S. pop singles chart and became the duo's second #1 hit in the U.K.

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"Careless Whisper" (1985)

"Careless Whisper" was George Michael's first solo single, but it was released in the U.S. as a Wham! song. The single was co-written by George Michael with his Wham! bandmate Andrew Ridgeley in 1981. "Careless Whisper" went to #1 on the pop singles chart in both the U.S. and the U.K.

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"Everything She Wants" - Wham! (1985)

"Everything She Wants" is one of the few Wham! songs that George Michael continued to perform in concert once he became a solo artist. It is a song about a man frustrated by the material demands of his female partner. The song was released in the U.K. as the B-side to "Last Christmas." "Everything She Wants" went all the way to #1 on the U.S. pop singles chart, hit #4 on the adult contemporary chart and broke into the top 10 on the dance chart.

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"I'm Your Man" - Wham! (1985)

"I"m Your Man" was released as a Wham! single in late 1985 and appeared on the duo's final studio collection "Music from the Edge of Heaven" in 1986. The upbeat song was a #3 pop hit single in the U.S. and went all the way to #1 in the U.K. George Michael re-recorded "I'm Your Man" in a funkier style in 1996 and released it as the B-side to his single "Fastlove."

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"A Different Corner" (1986)

"A Different Corner" was only the second #1 single in the U.K. to be written, arranged, produced, and sung by one person. The song was released as a George Michael solo single in 1986, the same year Wham! released its final album. "A Different Corner" reached the top 10 on both the pop and adult contemporary charts in the U.S.

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"I Want Your Sex" (1987)

For his first official solo single following the breakup of Wham!, George Michael unleashed the intensely sexual "I Want Your Sex." In the face of threats to not air the accompanying video on MTV, a segment with the words "Explore monogamy" was inserted. Musically, "I Want Your Sex" uses a complex funky jazz rhythm. The song reached #2 on the pop singles chart in the U.S. and #3 in the U.K. The song is included on the soundtrack to the hit film "Beverly Hills Cop II."

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"Faith" (1987)

The expectations were very high for George Michael's first solo album. He had led Wham! to six top 10 hit singles and three #1s in just three years. "Faith" was the title track from his first solo album. The genius of the song lies in the elegantly spare production and songwriting. The video includes iconic images of George Michael in tight jeans leaning on a jukebox and dancing around playing a guitar. "Faith" was a top 10 hit around the world and a #1 smash in the U.S. It was the top-selling single of the year in the U.S. in 1988.

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"Father Figure" (1988)

"Father Figure" followed "Faith" as the second single from the album "Faith." It was originally intended as a dance track, but George Michael preferred it as the sensuous ballad it became in the final mix. The impeccable production mixes such subtle elements as finger snaps into a shimmering stew that erupts in the familiar chorus. Surprisingly, "Father Figure" was George Michael's first single to miss the top 10 in the U.K., but it went straight to #1 on the pop singles chart in the U.S. It also crossed over to the R&B chart, reaching #6.

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"One More Try" (1988)

The hesitant love ballad "One More Try" was George Michael's third consecutive #1 hit from the album "Faith." It features vocals that show the powerful range of his voice. In addition to topping the pop chart in the U.S., "One More Try" brought George Michael back to the top 10 in the U.K. In an unusual feat for white artists, the song topped the U.S. R&B chart as well.

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"Monkey" (1988)

"Monkey" was the fourth consecutive #1 pop hit single from George Michael's debut solo album "Faith." The single version of "Monkey" was remixed by Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, best known for their work with Janet Jackson. "Monkey" also topped the dance chart in the U.S. and broke into the top 10 on the R&B singles chart.

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"Kissing a Fool" (1988)

"Kissing a Fool" was the sixth and final single from George Michael's debut solo album "Faith." It is a jazzy ballad about personal insecurity. The song followed a string of four consecutive #1 pop hit singles and peaked at #5. It topped the adult contemporary chart and broke into the top 40 on the R&B singles chart.

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"Praying For Time" (1990)

"Praying for Time" is George Michael's most political hit single. He addresses directly the role of religion and prejudice in creating societal ills. "Praying for Time" was his final #1 hit single in the U.S. Michael refused to appear in a music video accompanying the song.

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"Freedom! 90" (1990)

The "90" was added to this "Freedom" to distinguish it from the earlier Wham! hit. By 1990 George Michael was a bit soured on the image he had earned at MTV and with the music establishment. "Freedom! 90" finds him literally destroying elements of his image in the music video, including his leather jacket, guitar, and jukebox. This all occurs to the tune of one of his most engaging uptempo songs. The song was a top 10 hit in the U.S.

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"Too Funky" (1992)

The single "Too Funky" was donated to the charity project "Red, Hot + Dance." It was George Michael's last single with Sony Music before he began legal action to end his contract with the label. A spoken word clip from the film "The Graduate"—"Would you like me to seduce you? Is that what you're trying to tell me?"—is included in the mix. The ending sample—"Would you stop playing with that radio of yours? I'm trying to get to sleep"—is taken from the U.K. TV program "The Tony Hancock Show." "Too Funky" reached the top 10 in the U.S. and was a top 5 hit in the U.K.

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"Jesus To a Child" (1996)

George Michael wrote "Jesus to a Child" in memory of his former lover Anselmo Feleppa, who died two years after the pair first met in 1991 from complications from AIDS. The song was Michael's first original song in four years. It reached #1 on the U.K. pop singles chart and broke into the top 10 on the U.S. pop and adult contemporary charts.

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"Fastlove" (1996)

"Fastlove" was a single from George Michael's 1996 comeback album "Older." It is an ode to no-strings-attached sexual arrangements. "Fastlove" was Michael's final top 10 pop hit in the U.S. and his last #1 hit at home in the U.K. It was nominated for Best British Single at the 1997 Brit Awards.

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"Outside" (1998)

In 1998 George Michael was arrested for "lewd acts" in a public toilet, making headlines around the world. The incident prompted him to come out publicly as gay and release the single "Outside" in response. The song is a clever, humorous response to the event and another catchy uptempo hit. "Outside" reached #2 on the pop singles chart in the U.K. The accompanying music video pokes direct fun at the arrest and people's discomfort with open sexuality.

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"Amazing" (2004)

For "Amazing," George Michael created a heartfelt tribute to his partner Kenny Goss. The song is essentially an uptempo, danceable gay wedding song. While pop radio in the US ignored the release, the song was heavily embraced by dance clubs and became George Michael's third #1 dance hit in the U.S. In the U.K., "Amazing" reached the top 5, making it Michael's biggest hit there in five years.

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"Flawless (Go To the City)" (2004)

George Michael's album "Patience," his first of new songs in eight years, included extensive use of samples. "Flawless (Go to the City)" includes a segment from the song "Flawless" by The Ones. The single was ignored by mainstream pop radio in the U.S. but hit #1 on the dance chart.