The Legacy of George Michael

Whether you grew up in the 1980s or long afterward, odds are that you can name several songs by pop legend George Michael. Here’s what you should know about the singer, his band Wham!, and new ways to enjoy his music today.

George Michael and Wham! History

The George Michael known to pop music lovers everywhere was born in 1963 as Georgios Kyriacos Panayiotou, son to Greek father Kyriacos and British mother Lesley Angold Harrison. Michael began singing and playing guitar at an early age, and formed the band Wham! with his friend Andrew Ridgeley in 1981. Wham! enjoyed early success with its first few albums (Fantastic, Make It Big, and Music from the Edge of Heaven) in both the UK and the US before breaking up in 1986, citing creative differences. 

Michael launched a solo career that brought him to even greater heights: his debut album Faith topped UK charts and sold over 25 million copies worldwide. The second, Listen Without Prejudice Vol. 1, was released in 1990 and sold over 8 million copies. Michael’s 1991 duet with Elton John, “Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me,” topped both UK and US charts and was nominated for two Grammy awards. Over his wildly successful career, the soulful “Careless Whisper” singer won many more awards.

Although he passed away in 2016, George Michael remains in the hearts and minds of listeners today. In 2019, the romantic comedy Last Christmas featured 15 Wham! and George Michael songs, grossing $121.6 million globally. Each Christmas season, the well-loved song that inspired the film continues to be played in public places and on car radios.

George Michael Reborn: A Tribute

George Michael has left countless fans belting out his pop gospel into imaginary microphones at top volume for decades. Yet few have dedicated themselves to stepping into his persona like Robert Bartko, the lookalike tribute performer known as George Michael Reborn. After Michael’s passing, Bartko wanted to ensure that the singer’s legacy would endure. 

In 2019, Bartko performed his first concert, which sold out. Later that year, he performed with Wham! bassist Deon Estus, and since then, he has had successful tours throughout the US. His shows are based primarily on George Michael’s “Faith” tour of 1988 in celebration of that best-selling album. Today, Bartko performs at private events and public concerts alike.

See George Michael Reborn at Main Street Crossing

You can see George Michael Reborn perform in an intimate concert setting at Main Street Crossing, Friday, May 17, 2024, at 8:00 p.m. Click here to purchase tickets.

Main Street Crossing in Tomball, Texas is one of the best small music venues in the Houston metro area. This unique nonprofit in a historical venue hosts country, Americana, folk, blues, and other types of music artists in an intimate setting: the furthest seat is only 45 feet from the stage. MSC also offers food, beverages, table service, and community seating, making it easier to interact with fellow concertgoers and even performing artists. Parking is convenient and stress-free.

Main Street Crossing additionally functions as a multi-use venue for church services, concerts, and more located in Tomball. Check out our event calendar and enjoy entertainment in support of good causes.