George Michael behind the scenes: Pictures of the off-duty star in his early years

17 May 2019, 14:06 | Updated: 17 May 2019, 14:21

Unearthed snaps of George Michael in private
Unearthed snaps of George Michael in private. Picture: Getty

By Giorgina Ramazzotti

George Michael's incredible stage presence is remembered by his fans across the world, but less is known of the star's private life when he was relaxing backstage and off-duty with friends.

From his time in hugely successful pop duo Wham! to his solo career and untimely death in 2016 at just 53-years-old, George Michael's life was a constant fascination to fans throughout his life.

Watch the moment George Michael came out on live TV and inspired a generation

Two years after his death his music is more popular than ever - the star's hit song 'Careless Whisper' has been voted number one by listeners in Smooth Radio's very own All Time Top 500 in both 2017 and 2019.

Read more: How George Michael sang to dying "secret first love" at Freddie Mercury tribute concert

Paying tribute to one of our favourite artists, we've created a gallery of George Michael's most heart-warming and candid off-duty moments from the early years of his career with Wham! and his transformation into a solo star.

Watch: George Michael impressing David Bowie and Seal with Queen song is so powerful

George Michael  and Andrew Ridgeley together with Elton John backstage prior to performing at Wham!'s farewell concert, entitled 'The Final' at Wembley Stadium in London on 28th June 1986
George Michael and Andrew Ridgeley together with Elton John backstage prior to performing at Wham!'s farewell concert, entitled 'The Final' at Wembley Stadium in London on 28th June 1986. Picture: Getty
Andrew Ridgeley and George Michael hold koala motif sweaters during the pop duo's 1985 world tour, January 1985.
Andrew Ridgeley and George Michael hold koala motif sweaters during the pop duo's 1985 world tour, January 1985. Picture: Getty
George Michael poses at home with his cat after losing his voice and being forced to cancel a number of live shows in 1980, London.
George Michael poses at home with his cat after losing his voice and being forced to cancel a number of live shows in 1980, London. Picture: Getty
George Michael pictured with Chrysta Jones in 1983
George Michael pictured with Chrysta Jones in 1983. Picture: Getty
George Michael with girlfriend Kathy Yeung, on a train listening to a Walkman, Japan, March 1988.
George Michael with girlfriend Kathy Yeung, on a train listening to a Walkman, Japan, March 1988. Picture: Getty
George Michael blow drying his hair during the pop duo's 1985 world tour, January 1985.'The Big Tour' took in the UK, Japan, Australia, China and the US.
George Michael blow drying his hair during the pop duo's 1985 world tour, January 1985.'The Big Tour' took in the UK, Japan, Australia, China and the US. Picture: Getty
George Michael lies on a bed watching television in a hotel room in Sydney, Australia during the pop duo's 1985 world tour in January 1985.
George Michael lies on a bed watching television in a hotel room in Sydney, Australia during the pop duo's 1985 world tour in January 1985. Picture: Getty
George Michael and Andrew Ridgeley riding donkeys while in Ibizia to record of Club Tropicana at Pikes Hotel in Ibiza on March 16, 1983 in Ibiza, Spain.
George Michael and Andrew Ridgeley riding donkeys while in Ibizia to record of Club Tropicana at Pikes Hotel in Ibiza on March 16, 1983 in Ibiza, Spain. Picture: Getty
Wham during the recording of Club Tropicana at Pikes Hotel in Ibiza on May 16, 1983 in Ibiza, Spain.
Wham during the recording of Club Tropicana at Pikes Hotel in Ibiza on May 16, 1983 in Ibiza, Spain. Picture: Getty
George Michael pictured changing in to his stage clothes backstage during the Australian leg of Wham!'s 1985 world tour, January 1985.
George Michael pictured changing in to his stage clothes backstage during the Australian leg of Wham!'s 1985 world tour, January 1985. Picture: Getty
George Michael relaxing in Sydney, Australia, January 1985.
George Michael relaxing in Sydney, Australia, January 1985. Picture: Getty
Elton John and George Michael chat in a film studio in May 1985 in London, England.
Elton John and George Michael chat in a film studio in May 1985 in London, England. Picture: Getty
George Michael pictured holding a Sony video recorder device next to a bullet train on a station during the Japanese leg of his Faith World Tour in February 1988.
George Michael pictured holding a Sony video recorder device next to a bullet train on a station during the Japanese leg of his Faith World Tour in February 1988. Picture: Getty
George Michael pictured receiving attention from a make up artist prior to appearing at a press conference during the Japanese/Australasian leg of his Faith World Tour, February-March 1988.
George Michael pictured receiving attention from a make up artist prior to appearing at a press conference during the Japanese/Australasian leg of his Faith World Tour, February-March 1988. Picture: Getty

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