George Michael's Top 20 Biggest Billboard Hits

Getty Images

Combined, Wham! and Michael earned 21 Top 10 hits on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.

Pop superstar George Michael left an incredible legacy on Billboard’s charts — both as a solo artist and as one-half of the duo Wham! The late singer died at his home over the Christmas holiday, according to his manager. 

Michael first dented Billboard’s charts in 1983 with Wham!’s “Young Guns (Go for It),” which debuted on the Dance Club Songs chart dated March 19, 1983. That launched a stunning career on Billboard’s lists: Combined, Wham! and Michael earned 21 top 10 hits on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, including 10 No. 1s. Among those chart-toppers: “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go,” “Careless Whisper,” “Faith,” “Father Figure,” “I Knew You Were Waiting for Me” (with Aretha Franklin) and “Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me” (with Elton John).

His biggest hit of all time on the Hot 100 (see list, below) is his 1987 No. 1 smash “Faith.” It spent four weeks atop the list and was one of four No. 1 singles from his solo debut album, Faith. The set ruled the Billboard 200 chart for 12 weeks, is certified at 10 million copies sold in the U.S. according to the Recording Industry Association of America (his biggest- selling album) and won the 1988 Grammy Award for album of the year.

During his lifetime, Michael charted 10 solo albums on the Billboard 200, with three of them reaching the top 10: FaithListen Without Prejudice Vol. 1 and Older. He most recently visited the list in 2014 with the live album Symphonica, featuring orchestral interpretations of his hits. His most recently charting new single was the Symphonica track “Let Her Down Easy,” which reached No. 24 on the April 26, 2014-dated Adult Contemporary airplay chart. (He last hit the Hot 100 in 1996 with the No. 8-peaking “Fastlove.”)

Michael’s No. 2 biggest Hot 100 of all time is “Careless Whisper,” which spent three weeks at No. 1 on the weekly chart, and was Michael’s first chart hit credited to him as an artist — though it was curiously billed as Wham! featuring George Michael.

Among Michael’s top 20 Hot 100 hits are famed tracks like “Freedom,” which reached No. 8 in 1990, and boasted a music video that did not feature Michael. Instead, the clip — directed by David Fincher — starred a bevy of supermodels. Also in the top 20: his racy single “I Want Your Sex” single, which peaked at No. 2 on the weekly Hot 100.

A song not among his top 20 biggest hits (as it never charted on the Hot 100) is the holiday classic "Last Christmas," by Wham! The song is an annual favorite around Christmastime, and has gone as high as No. 5 on the weekly Holiday 100 chart in 2014, and climbed to No. 11 this holiday season on the chart dated Dec. 31. It ranks as the No. 10 all-time Holiday 100 tune.

Here are George Michael’s top 20 biggest Billboard Hot 100 hits:

Rank, Title, Artist, Hot 100 Peak Position, Peak Date

1. “Faith,” George Michael, No. 1 (four weeks), Dec. 12, 1987

2. “Careless Whisper,” Wham! featuring George Michael, No. 1 (three weeks), Feb. 16, 1985
3. “One More Try,” George Michael, No. 1 (three weeks), May 28, 1988
4. “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go,” Wham!, No. 1 (three weeks), Nov. 17, 1984
5. “Everything She Wants,” Wham!, No. 1 (two weeks), May 25, 1985
6. “Father Figure,” George Michael, No. 1 (two weeks), Feb. 27, 1988
7. “I Knew You Were Waiting (for Me),” Aretha Franklin and George Michael, No. 1 (two weeks), April 18, 1987
8. “Monkey,” George Michael, No. 1 (two weeks), Aug. 27, 1988
9. “I Want Your Sex,” George Michael, No. 2, Aug. 8, 1987

10. “Praying for Time,” George Michael, No. 1 (one week), Oct. 13, 1990
11. “I’m Your Man,” Wham!, No. 3, Feb. 1, 1986
12. “Freedom,” Wham!, No. 3, Sept. 28, 1985
13. “Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me,” George Michael/Elton John, No. 1 (one week), Feb. 1, 1992
14. “A Different Corner,” George Michael, No. 7, June 14, 1986
15. “Kissing a Fool,” George Michael, No. 5, Nov. 26, 1988
16. “Freedom,” George Michael, No. 8, Dec. 22, 1990
17. “Heaven Help Me,” Deon Estus with George Michael, No. 5, April 29, 1989
18. “The Edge of Heaven,” Wham!, No. 10, Aug. 16, 1986
19. “Fastlove,” George Michael, No. 8, June 1, 1996
20. “Too Funky,” George Michael, No. 10, Aug. 8, 1992

George Michael’s top 20 Billboard Hot 100 hits chart is based on actual performance on the weekly Billboard Hot 100, through the Dec. 31, 2016, ranking. Songs are ranked based on an inverse point system, with weeks at No. 1 earning the greatest value and weeks at No. 100 earning the least. Due to changes in chart methodology over the years, certain eras are weighted to account for different chart turnover rates over various periods.

This article originally appeared on Billboard.com.

comments powered by Disqus