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Mika's sugary wonderland of gender-bending, campy pop topped with a flawless falsetto has earned him respectable comparisons to the likes of Freddie Mercury, David Bowie and the Scissor Sisters. Born in Beirut as Michael Holbrook Penniman, he moved with his family from Lebanon to Paris and eventually settled in London when he was nine years old. The move proved troubling for him, as he faced bullying at school and the onset of dyslexia. Mika's focus turned to music when he began intense training with a Russian singing teacher, which led to professional performances at the Royal Opera House and advertising gigs for British Airways and Orbit Chewing Gum. He studied classical music at the prestigious Royal College of Music, but dropped out to focus on his career. Mika's first step into the fickle pop world was the release of his single "Relax, Take It Easy," but it was "Grace Kelly," a stab at those who didn't believe in his musical potential, that shot him to No. 1 on the U.K. charts in early 2007. His debut album, Life in Cartoon Motion, soon followed the same chart-topping path.
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