Mika ( Michael Holbrook Penniman, Jr. was born in Beirut, the third of five children born to a Lebanese mother and an American father. When he was a year old his family was forced to leave war-torn Lebanon and moved to Paris. The first piano piece he learned to play was "Les Champs-Élysées", by Joe Dassin. After listening to Nirvana's "Heart-Shaped Box", he wrote his first song, which he describes as an "awful" piano instrumental called "Angry". The family moved to London when he was nine years old. There, he attended the Lycee Francais Charles de Gaulle, where he experienced severe bullying. He also had problems with dyslexia. In response to these experiences, Mika was home-schooled by his mother at the age of 12, for six to eight months. He then attended St Philip's School in Kensington where he was the head of the Schola Cantorum (the St Philip's Choir). Later he attended Westminster School and the Royal College of Music, which he left to record his first album at Casablanca Records. He has also slightly altered his given name, Mica, changing the "c" to a "k" because he was frustrated by how often people would mispronounce it.
Mika's first single was a limited 7"/download release called " Relax, Take It Easy" (2006). It was play listed by BBC Radio 1 in the United Kingdom, and made Record of the Week by DJ Scott Mills. The Dodgy Holiday EP. The also became available for download. The song "Billy Brown" was available for free download for a week from the iTunes Store. A studio outtake titled 'Overrated', which was recorded in 2004, was "unofficially" released online.
Life in Cartoon Motion: 2006-2008
In January 2007, Mika was on the top of the BBC News website's Sound of 2007 poll. His single "Grace Kelly" was released by Universal Music for digital download on 8 January 2007. It reached number one on the UK Singles Chart on 21 January 2007. The CD, 12", and limited-edition 7".
Mika's début album Life in Cartoon Motion was released on 5 February 2007, and has brought comparison with artists such as Freddie Mercury, Scissor Sisters, Elton John,Prince, Robbie Williams and David Bowie. "Grace Kelly," in fact, references Mercury in the lyrics, "I try to be like Grace Kelly/But all her looks were too sad/So I try a little Freddie/I've gone identity mad"
Mika was the musical act for The Tonight Show with Jay Leno on 26 March 2007 and 14 February 2008 and for Jimmy Kimmel Live on 27 March 2007. He also performed live on So You Think You Can Dance on 26 July 2007.
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