Happy 27th Birthday, Mika!

The Lebanese-born British singer Mika turns 27 today. Known for his Freddie Mercury-esque flamboyance, Ramen Noodle tangle of hair, and multi-octave prowess, he launched onto the UK music scene in 2007 with a great deal of hype before most people had even heard him sing a note. But he made good on the advance buzz with his sweeping debut single “Grace Kelly,” which topped the UK pop charts for five weeks. I was initially a harsh skeptic of Mika, but I’ve come to appreciate the wit, unapologetic ambition, and songcraft of tunes like “Relax, Take It Easy” (which I initially dismissed as warmed-over Andy Gibb), “Happy Ending,” “Rain,” and the theme song to the movie Kick-Ass. Here’s a selection of some of his songs:

Kevin Wicks

Kevin Wicks founded BBCAmerica.com's Anglophenia blog back in 2005 and has been translating British culture for an American audience ever since. While not British himself - he was born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri - he once received inordinate hospitality in London for sharing the name of a dead but beloved EastEnders character. His Anglophilia stems from a high school love of Morrissey, whom he calls his "gateway drug" into British culture.

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