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George Michael: The Biography

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George Michael is an enigma. Despite being one of the most open and vocal pop superstars on the planet, George Michael is also fiercely protective of his privacy. From the formation of Wham! In 1981 he immediately found fame and fortune beyond his wildest dreams. This all-access biography uncovers the secret life of the pop star, following his skyrocket to fame and fortune George Michael is an enigma. Despite being one of the most open and vocal pop superstars on the planet, George Michael is also fiercely protective of his privacy. From the formation of Wham! In 1981 he immediately found fame and fortune beyond his wildest dreams. This all-access biography uncovers the secret life of the pop star, following his skyrocket to fame and fortune through his solo career and up to the present day. His music formed the soundtrack to the 1980s and he achieved all of this despite growing up in a dysfunctional family where his father openly proclaimed that George had no talent. Wham! split in 1986 but Michael went on to greater things as a solo artist. Along the way Michael has been embroiled in several controversies—among them a court case with Sony; an arrest in a Los Angeles public toilet; minor run-ins over class-C drugs; and traffic offenses in London—but in a refreshing contrast from other superstars, he has been happy to address his issues head-on in and out of the media. Rob Jovanovic's biography tackles all the factors and issues that formed George Michael as superstar as he stands today, and his place as a cultural icon. It also, for the first time, analyses Michael's musical output and groundbreaking videos, and discusses for the first time his recent acclaimed worldwide triumphant 2006 tour, the first in 15 years as Michael returned from the music wilderness.


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George Michael is an enigma. Despite being one of the most open and vocal pop superstars on the planet, George Michael is also fiercely protective of his privacy. From the formation of Wham! In 1981 he immediately found fame and fortune beyond his wildest dreams. This all-access biography uncovers the secret life of the pop star, following his skyrocket to fame and fortune George Michael is an enigma. Despite being one of the most open and vocal pop superstars on the planet, George Michael is also fiercely protective of his privacy. From the formation of Wham! In 1981 he immediately found fame and fortune beyond his wildest dreams. This all-access biography uncovers the secret life of the pop star, following his skyrocket to fame and fortune through his solo career and up to the present day. His music formed the soundtrack to the 1980s and he achieved all of this despite growing up in a dysfunctional family where his father openly proclaimed that George had no talent. Wham! split in 1986 but Michael went on to greater things as a solo artist. Along the way Michael has been embroiled in several controversies—among them a court case with Sony; an arrest in a Los Angeles public toilet; minor run-ins over class-C drugs; and traffic offenses in London—but in a refreshing contrast from other superstars, he has been happy to address his issues head-on in and out of the media. Rob Jovanovic's biography tackles all the factors and issues that formed George Michael as superstar as he stands today, and his place as a cultural icon. It also, for the first time, analyses Michael's musical output and groundbreaking videos, and discusses for the first time his recent acclaimed worldwide triumphant 2006 tour, the first in 15 years as Michael returned from the music wilderness.

30 review for George Michael: The Biography

  1. 4 out of 5

    Michelle

    I have been in love with George Michael since I was 11 years old, back when he was half the duo that made up Wham!, and when he went solo, I attended my very first concert at age 14, during his Faith tour. As his music has grown and matured, so too, have I, all the while, remaining an ardent fan, and over the decades, his music continued to evolve and connect with audiences as only a rare few musicians can. Like countless others, I was heartbroken to learn of his unexpected passing last Christma I have been in love with George Michael since I was 11 years old, back when he was half the duo that made up Wham!, and when he went solo, I attended my very first concert at age 14, during his Faith tour. As his music has grown and matured, so too, have I, all the while, remaining an ardent fan, and over the decades, his music continued to evolve and connect with audiences as only a rare few musicians can. Like countless others, I was heartbroken to learn of his unexpected passing last Christmas Day, and marking the one-year anniversary, I decided to read this biography, to see if there was anything about my favorite musician that I didn’t already know. His rise in Wham! in the 80s was as effortless as it seemed, while his solo career, beginning in the 90s, was simply a natural progression of his maturity and songwriting skills. This led to his growing confidence in his abilities, and his belief that his contract with Sony was merely an extension of the one he signed as a desperate 18-year old, not one that reflected his changing status, and he fought a losing battle with them in court to have that changed. From there, his personal life, which included his sexual orientation, became the fodder of late night talk shows for years. For a man who was so intensely private about his personal life, once aspects of it were made public (usually by his own making), he certainly didn’t shy away from the embarrassing questions asked, choosing instead to be direct, honest, and self-deprecating, which ultimately made him an open book, not an “enigma”, as the back cover of the book suggests (and those who really listened to his music knew he was gay long before the public bathroom incident effectively outed him anyway). This isn’t exactly the “all-access biography” that “uncovers the secret life of the pop star” that it claims to be, as George doesn’t appear to have been interviewed or involved with the author’s process in any way, and it’s not an investigative report that discloses anything the public didn’t already know. So while I didn’t learn anything new about my favorite musician, it does serve as a somewhat comprehensive account of the late, great artist’s life, from his childhood and family life through his rise to fame, researched and compiled from previously published articles, interviews, and outside sources, and noted in the bibliography contained at the back of the book, along with a discography, videography, as well as other notable information. Published in 2007 however, the book is missing, of course, the last decade of the artist’s life, and therefore concludes, misleadingly, on a high note, with George celebrating ten years and pending nuptials with his then-partner, Kenny Goss, and just returning to touring—and for the first time, truly enjoying the experience—with his 25 Live concert tour. Despite not having any new music to promote, the 25 Live Tour was a resounding success, which I can personally attest to, having had the great joy to sit front row at one of these concerts! It served as a celebration of the artist’s 25 years in the music business, and showcased many of his greatest hits, but since the book is just shy of 200 pages, perhaps the author would consider adding a few additional chapters to a future, revised edition, where he includes the artist’s remaining years.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Gary

    I enjoyed reading this biography by Rob Jovanovic but it failed to go any deeper than most George Michael followers already know. Not sure how if Rob Jovanovic ever met George Michael or whether he used information already available to the public. The book has no new revelations or inside information just regurgitated facts and the final months of his life are missing to really tell the whole story. Criticisms aside it was good to reminisce about George Michael and Wham, true talent and sadly mis I enjoyed reading this biography by Rob Jovanovic but it failed to go any deeper than most George Michael followers already know. Not sure how if Rob Jovanovic ever met George Michael or whether he used information already available to the public. The book has no new revelations or inside information just regurgitated facts and the final months of his life are missing to really tell the whole story. Criticisms aside it was good to reminisce about George Michael and Wham, true talent and sadly missed.

  3. 5 out of 5

    readbyjulia

    That book deserves 3 stars but my love for George outweighs the lack of depth into Michael’s life. Don’t get me wrong - Jovanovic did a really great job with the research, but there’s so much more to tell…

  4. 5 out of 5

    Michelle Grant

    If you know me at all, you know that I was totally immersed in EVERY word. My heart gives it a full 5 STARS.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Ness

    I enjoyed reading this! His brilliant music will live on...

  6. 5 out of 5

    Lyndi

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I have been in love with this man since I was 11 years old. I have seen him quitting Wham! To becoming an instant success at a solo career. Him making almost all his songs about sex, the infamous bathroom scene, the drugs and car accidents, him coming out of the closet. Basically the good, bad and the ugly. I came away from this book disgusted by the diva he has become. And probably will no longer buy any of his music and most definitely will never see another one of his concerts. While I didn't I have been in love with this man since I was 11 years old. I have seen him quitting Wham! To becoming an instant success at a solo career. Him making almost all his songs about sex, the infamous bathroom scene, the drugs and car accidents, him coming out of the closet. Basically the good, bad and the ugly. I came away from this book disgusted by the diva he has become. And probably will no longer buy any of his music and most definitely will never see another one of his concerts. While I didn't expect to find out he is a Christian, I feel sorry for him. He has so much going for him in life and he seems so sad and lonely. He still has a voice of an angel, but I'm finding the more I know about the "stars" of this world the more I dislike them as humans. Maybe I would have been better being in the dark on his beliefs and opinions. And now that I know what goes on in his concerts with bringing so many of his political opinions into it, and not just singing, I cannot and won't support that. The writing of this book was good, and I'm sorry that George himself was the reason for the poor rating. It doesn't have anything to do with the author. If I was rating solely on George it would have got a one. I came to a happy medium with the three rating as its not the authors fault what George has turned into. While I don't expect Mr. Michael to still be singing bubblegum pop records for teeny boppers, him becoming an adult and wanting to write more mature lyrics doesn't mean that they need to be filled with profanity and filth. I just read a book about Guns N Roses and I knew what I was getting into with that book. As they started out that way, so I am not a prude. I knew what I was getting into reading that, this I guess I had my blinders on and didn't want to believe it.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Sally

    An interesting book about George, with some private aspects of his life that i was not familiar with. I found the context of the book interesting, citing other artists of the time and their involvement i his work and the political landscape of places he performed. I found the writing like something that a schoolchild would write eg. "he did this and the he did that and then a year later he did this again but better" It was written by a jounalist nd not a biographer, so maybe not their prefered s An interesting book about George, with some private aspects of his life that i was not familiar with. I found the context of the book interesting, citing other artists of the time and their involvement i his work and the political landscape of places he performed. I found the writing like something that a schoolchild would write eg. "he did this and the he did that and then a year later he did this again but better" It was written by a jounalist nd not a biographer, so maybe not their prefered style. If it were a book about someone that i wasnt as interested in, i think i would have given up early on.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Cara Byrne

    From the age of 10 when Wham! appeared on a Saturday morning show I was in love! 37 years later, I'm still a fan of George Michael. GM has been a major chunk of my life. I was absolutely devastated when I learnt of his death on Boxing Day 2016. What I loved about this book was the feeling of George coming back to life. I could hear him say his quotes written throughout the book. With the Wham! days, I would watch every video mentioned in the book and relive the good times. It was hard to read th From the age of 10 when Wham! appeared on a Saturday morning show I was in love! 37 years later, I'm still a fan of George Michael. GM has been a major chunk of my life. I was absolutely devastated when I learnt of his death on Boxing Day 2016. What I loved about this book was the feeling of George coming back to life. I could hear him say his quotes written throughout the book. With the Wham! days, I would watch every video mentioned in the book and relive the good times. It was hard to read the struggles he went through and yes, at the end, I cried reading the tributes. Just made it all real again.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Neal Obermeyer

    Underwhelming — I appreciate the (apparently lifted?) direct quotes from George, but the music itself is treated as almost an afterthought. I’m a George Michael fan who recognized I knew too little about his story, so that’s why I bought this book. The fact that there was very little in this book that I didn’t already know doesn’t make me think that maybe I was an expert after all; it makes me think this book is just unfortunately superficial.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Katja

    Better than one other George Michael biography I've read which focused so much on problems, this one was much more balanced and told about both the successes and the troubles. It's also quite neutral, there's no bias either way in the background which you can sometimes sense from the biographies. It's not going deep into analyzing, it's more a-matter-of-fact, peppered with interview quotes, but I rather liked the approach. Better than one other George Michael biography I've read which focused so much on problems, this one was much more balanced and told about both the successes and the troubles. It's also quite neutral, there's no bias either way in the background which you can sometimes sense from the biographies. It's not going deep into analyzing, it's more a-matter-of-fact, peppered with interview quotes, but I rather liked the approach.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Lisa

    Eh The book I really wanted to read was George Michael’s biography “Bare” however since his early passing the book us unavailable in digital format and is over $400 for a used copy. This was informative but did not appear thoroughly researched or well written. The dictionary definitions were a bit kitschy at the beginning of each chapter and seemed to be put in as filler.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Brian O'Leary

    Provided quite the insight into all of George Michael's troubles with drugs, alcohol, sexuality, success, media. I never knew he had so many troubles, I know of the major ones, but so many issues with the law. He was a talented singer with many troubles. Too bad he could never get the help he needed. Provided quite the insight into all of George Michael's troubles with drugs, alcohol, sexuality, success, media. I never knew he had so many troubles, I know of the major ones, but so many issues with the law. He was a talented singer with many troubles. Too bad he could never get the help he needed.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Si Meadows

    Quite a good read as the author clearly did his research. However, because it's not written by George himself there does lack a certain warmth. Also, the definitions at the start of every chapter were a bit annoying after a while, I just didn't see the point in them! Quite a good read as the author clearly did his research. However, because it's not written by George himself there does lack a certain warmth. Also, the definitions at the start of every chapter were a bit annoying after a while, I just didn't see the point in them!

  14. 5 out of 5

    Nina Misson

    'I think you can't be selective with truth and honesty so I always go that bit further than my own generation does and get myself into trouble. But that's my own dysfunction. If there's a hard way to do it, do it the hard way. That's me as well.' 'I think you can't be selective with truth and honesty so I always go that bit further than my own generation does and get myself into trouble. But that's my own dysfunction. If there's a hard way to do it, do it the hard way. That's me as well.'

  15. 5 out of 5

    Mya-Ko Pritchard

    I was a bit underwhelmed by the writing perhaps because the author is a journalist as opposed to a biographer? I enjoyed learning a few things about his personal life that I was unaware of but this book was definitely not a page turner for me.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Kirstie

    Some interesting parts but as this is not actually authenticated by the great late GM I have taken much of it with a pinch of salt.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Aysha Al-rowaished

    If you don’t know much about George Michael this book gives you a nice look into him as a human more than musician ❤️ loved it to the very end

  18. 5 out of 5

    Colin

    so many rumours and stories over the years, a chance to put that all right at last - thank you george for all you have left us with.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer

    Great read. Only went as far as 2007.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Lolly Offutt

    I enjoyed it, right up until the end- it just stops. I thought " that's it? " Many great pictures I enjoyed it, right up until the end- it just stops. I thought " that's it? " Many great pictures

  21. 5 out of 5

    Daniel

    Superficial and badly written.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Joanne Roy

    Terrible book. Like reading someone’s day planner.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Tina

    Coming from a HUGE FAN of the most insightful and engaging songwriter, ever...this biography was neither insightful nor particularly engaging. It is not a George Michael tell-all book nor does it tell the story behind the songs. Quotes from a very private guy seem to be from published articles rather than personal interviews. I was disappointed. I miss George. RIP. EDIT: Changed my initial reaction from 2 to 3 stars because I did learn a lot from the book, but I still stand by my review.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Mary Pierson

    Very Interesting Easy reading, and gives you a sense of what George Michael went through as a youth and as a singer. I

  25. 4 out of 5

    Zoe Carter

    Amazing as a George Michael fan this book really goes in depth about him and gives you stories you have never heard truly a lovely book

  26. 5 out of 5

    Suzanne

    I love George! Interesting to hear all the things I didn't know about in the 80s. I love George! Interesting to hear all the things I didn't know about in the 80s.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Lorraine

    I like reading about troubled souls..interesting light read

  28. 4 out of 5

    Holly Knudsen

    good book for any George Michael fan!!

  29. 5 out of 5

    Stella

    Interesting look at one of the biggest pop stars and a deeper look into his personal life, professional drive and how all those scandals affected him. It made me even sadder that he passed away last December. If you read the book, keep your phone or computer handy so you can look up the songs, videos, concert clips, and TV interviews that are referenced!

  30. 5 out of 5

    Linda

    Total waste of time. a summary of George Michael's interviews and tabloid news. Total waste of time. a summary of George Michael's interviews and tabloid news.

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