Credit: Shutterstock/George Michael

It's almost required with major artists that there's some duality. And I've got duality everywhere.

A singer with a soaring voice and one half of the most commercially successful double act of the 1980s, George Michael also had an impressive solo career, and achieved success on both sides of the Atlantic.

He was very close to his mother growing up, and grew up in London. He met future bandmate Andrew Ridgeley while they were both at school together, and when they both realised that they shared musical ambitions they would regularly play and busk together. They formed Wham! together in 1981, and their debut album became a number 1 hit. They followed this up with a string of huge singles, including Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go (No. 1 in the UK and US), Freedom, Everything She Wants, and Careless Whisper. Wham! were also the first band from the West to play in China. Between 1982 and 1986 they sold over 30 million records worldwide.

After the band split up, George’s solo career took flight. He released Faith in 1987 and it became an instant hit. It has since been recognised as one of the greatest albums of the 1980s. In 1992, he stole the show at the Freddie Mercury Tribute Concertwith his cover of Somebody to Love - in his last ever radio interview, Freddie Mercury had praised Michael, and Faith in particular. Throughout his life he gave generously to charitable causes, and after his death in 2016 the depth of his generosity is still being felt by thousands of people in need.