We're spotlighting one of the most famous queer artists of the '80s and '90s. George Michael's tragic personal life and very public outing often overshadowed his immense talent as a songwriter and as one of the best vocalists of his generation. He was one of the best-selling artists of all time with 10 number-one songs on the US Billboard Hot 100 and 13 number-one songs on the UK Singles Chart and was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2023. Michael rose to fame after forming the pop duo Wham! with his friend and classmate Andrew Ridgeley in 1981. Together, the teen pop duo scored a series of top 10 singles including "Young Guns," "Freedom," "Club Tropicana," "Wake Me Up Before you Go Go," "Everything She Wants," and "Careless Whisper" which reached No. 1 in nearly 25 countries, including the U.K. and U.S. As a solo artist, he was one of the most dominant figures in pop music in the late '80s with only people like Prince, Madonna, and Michael Jackson rivaling his popularity. You couldn't turn on the radio or watch MTV in 1987 without hearing George Michael.

Music in this episode includes songs from Stevie Wonder, Queen, Madonna, Michael Jackson, Prince, Sam Smith, and Amy Winehouse.

Read more HERE about Michael's single "Freedom 90" and its significance as a coming out song. Subscribe for free to our queer rock history newsletter.