George Michael’s family ‘touched beyond words’ by tributes


Pictured: George Michael with his parents, Kyriacos and Lesley at his 30th birthday party

George Michael rose to fame as the fun-loving, golden boy of pop with a habit of stuffing badminton shuttlecocks into his tight shorts so as to further his appeal to girls.

With his hooped gold earrings, bleached hair, fake tan and puppy-dog eyes, the youthful star spent much of the Eighties gamely playing the part of a chart- topping pop star alongside Andrew Ridgeley as one half of Wham! — a duo famed for their roster of upbeat hits, including Club Tropicana, I’m Your Man and Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go.

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The conservative family background that nurtured him influenced much of George Michael’s later life.

The son of a hard-working Greek Cypriot immigrant who married an English dancer and ran a restaurant, George was raised in a working-class part of Finchley, North London, and indulged as the only boy in the family.

Michael had two older sisters, Yioda and Melanie. He is pictured with Melanie in the mid 1980s

Success eventually allowed the Panayiotou family to move out to Radlett in Hertfordshire, where George attended Bushey Meads School and met Andrew Ridgeley, with whom he formed Wham! at the tender age of 18.

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