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George Michael (born Georgios Kyriacos Panayiotou on 25 June 1963) is an English musician, singer-songwriter and record producer who rose to fame in the 1980s when he formed the pop duo Wham! along with his school friend Andrew Ridgeley. His first solo single, "Careless Whisper" was released when he was still in the duo and sold about six million copies worldwide.
As one of the world's best-selling music artists, Michael has sold over 100 million albums worldwide as of 2010. His 1987 debut solo album, Faith, has sold over 25 million copies worldwide and made several records and achievements in the United States. Michael has garnered seven number one singles in the UK, and eight number one hits on the Billboard Hot 100 in the U.S. In 2008, Billboard magazine ranked Michael the 40th most successful artist on the "The Billboard Hot 100 Top All-Time Artists".
On 26 February 2006, Michael was arrested for possession of Class C drugs, an incident that he described as "my own stupid fault, as usual." He was cautioned by the police and released.
Michael was arrested in Cricklewood, North-West London, after motorists reported a car obstructing the road at traffic lights. He pleaded guilty on 8 May 2007 to driving while unfit through drugs. He was banned from driving for two years, and sentenced to community service. During September 2007, on Desert Island Discs, he said that his cannabis use was a problem; he wished he could smoke less of it and was constantly trying to do so.
On 19 September 2008, Michael was arrested in a public toilet in the Hampstead Heath area of London for possession of Class A and C drugs. He was taken to the police station and cautioned for controlled substance possession.
On 5 December 2009, in an interview with The Guardian, Michael explains he had cut back on cannabis and now smokes only 'seven or eight' spliffs per day instead of the 25 he used to smoke.
In the early hours of Sunday 4 July 2010 he was returning from the Gay Pride parade. The singer was spotted on CCTV driving into the front of a Snappy Snaps store in Hampstead, North London and was arrested on suspicion of being unfit to drive after reports that a car had crashed into a building. On 12 August, London's Metropolitan Police said he was "charged with possession of cannabis and with driving while unfit through drink or drugs". Michael had also been taking the prescription medication Amitriptyline.
On 24 August 2010 the singer pleaded guilty at Highbury Corner Magistrates' Court in London after admitting driving under the influence of drugs and on 14 September 2010 at the same court, was sentenced to eight weeks in prison, a fine, and a five year ban from driving. Michael was released from Highpoint Prison in Suffolk on 11 October 2010, after serving four weeks.
As usual with these 'Star Stories', enabling for this episode has been disabled on YouTube. But you can see Part One by clicking here.