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Mica Penniman, 18 August 1983, Beirut, Lebanon. The brash, flamboyant Mika burst onto the UK charts in spectacular fashion at the start of 2007, when his single Grace Kelly reached the top spot in January. It had taken Mika several years of constant rejection to reach this position, however, and it was no coincidence that his success came at a time when the market was in the grip of a pure pop revival led by US band the Scissor Sisters and their UK compatriots the Feeling.
Born in Beirut to a Lebanese mother and an American father, Mica moved about with his family after being forced to leave the war-stricken Middle East when his father was held hostage in an embassy in Kuwait. The family eventually settled in London, England, after a spell in Paris, France, just in time for Mica to begin attending the prestigious Westminster School. He also took opera lessons and progressed quickly enough to make regular appearances at the Royal...