Mika Profile
Mika Profile Photo

Mika

Famous As
Pop/rock singer
Birth Name
Michael Holbrook Penniman Jr.
Birth Date
Aug 18, 1983
Birth Place
Beirut, Lebanon
Famous As
Pop/rock singer
Popular for
Single "Grace Kelly" (2007)
Birth Name
Michael Holbrook Penniman Jr.
Birth Date
Aug 18, 1983
Birth Place
Beirut, Lebanon
Height
6' 3"
Nationality
British
Hair Color
Brown
Education
  • Attended Lycee Francais Charles de Gaulle in South Kensington, England
  • Attended Westminster School in Westminster, London, England
  • Attended Royal College of Music in Kensington, England
  • Attended London School of Economics majoring in geography
Sister
Yasmine (fashion designer)

Easily noticeable for his soaring falsetto and flamboyant appearance, Mika was born one of the five children of an American banker and a Lebanese woman on August 18, 1983 in Beirut, Lebanon under the name Michael Holbrook Penniman. As a child, he spent his early years in Paris, France before eventually settled in London, England where he attended Lycee Francais Charles de Gaulle in South Kensington then the exclusive Westminster School. This period sadly was not a pleasant one to go through as the kid incessantly received verbal bullying which later led him to experience what he referred as "little breakdown" at the age of eleven. "I was called the typical fag and all those other homophobic, horrible little comments that kids throw at each other," he recalled.

Forced to pull out of school with no friends caring for him, Mica - so he is usually called during the time - consequently looked for another way to find solace and later discovered that music was the most reliable medium he could lean on. With the help from a Russian singing teacher whom his mother hired while she educated him at home, he was able to hone his incredible, five-octave singing range that delightfully allowed him to perform in the chorus line of a Strauss opera at the Royal Opera House. What's more, he even could make his way to enter the Royal College of Music where he drew enough knowledge to next work as a songwriter for jingles during his mid-teens.

Though managed to add quite a large amount of money into his savings account, Mica surprisingly did not consider the job as something he should rely on in the future. "I was 19, and thought, 'I'm a nutcase. What am I doing? Thinking I can write funny little songs for a living. I'd better get a degree'", he once said. Applying what was in his mind, he thus enrolled in London School of Economics to study geography yet upon finding out that the subject did not suit him, the guy finally quit to subsequently return to music. The decision thankfully turned out to be the right one as it did not take long for him to land deals with both Casablanca Records and Universal Music, afterwards officially using the moniker he has been widely recognized of.

Following this, a limited 7"/download release titled "Relax, Take It Easy" was launched in 2006 to a really fine result for a newcomer when it broke through BBC Radio 1 and was deemed Record of the Week by DJ Scott Mills. More overwhelming response was addressed to Mika by the time his second single 'Grace Kelly' came to the surface in digital download on January 8, 2007. A Queen-ishly vivacious glam-rock stomp, the composition quickly became a smash hit in the U.K, hitting the top spot of the country's Singles Chart less than two weeks. Completing the initial success, his debut album "Life in Cartoon Motion" was then released on February 5 the same year through Universal's Island Records, featuring other enjoyable nine tracks besides the two aforementioned songs. Critics have generally given good reviews for Mika's fresh and bold sound in the album that eventually he spawned six singles from the album in U.K. alone. His name was immediately linked to famous musicians such as Brian May from legendary rock band Queen and Madonna. He was a big winner at 2007 World Music Awards, taking as many as four titles namely Best Selling Pop/Rock Male Artist, Best Selling New Artist, Best Selling Male Entertainer, and Best Selling British Artist.