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George Michael signs big book deal

In what his publisher calls a record-breaking deal, British pop superstar George Michael is working on a memoir to come out in the fall of 2009. HarperCollins says the book, currently untitled, will be an “access all areas” story, with the 44-year-old Michael writing extensively about his professional and personal life.

A publishing official with knowledge of the negotiations said the deal was worth at least $6 million for British rights alone, among the biggest publishing contracts ever for that market, and at least $7 million overall.

“George has promised HarperCollins a no-holds barred biography, and it’s certain to be just that,” the singer’s manager, Andy Stephens, said in a statement Wednesday. “People aren’t stupid, they’re beginning to notice that the truth is more interesting than the stories the press come up with!”

Michael, whose many hits include “Careless Whisper,” “Faith” and “Father Figure,” has had several run-ins with the law, on charges ranging from drug possession to lewd conduct. Elton John, with whom Michael has performed on stage, has spoken of a “deep-rooted unhappiness” in the singer’s life.

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