Andrew Ridgeley — the other half of ’80s pop duo Wham! — has remained mostly out of the public eye since the unexpected death of George Michael on Dec. 25, 2016. But at the 2017 Brit Awards, Ridgeley stepped into the spotlight to deliver a touching tribute to his friend and former bandmate.

Joined by Helen “Pepsi” DeMacque & Shirlie Holliman (who toured with Wham! as backing singers Pepsi & Shirlie), Ridgeley talked about the band’s early days and Michael breaking out into solo stardom.

“We were the best of friends,” Ridgeley recalls of befriending Michael in 1975. “We monkeyed around recording sketches and jingles in George’s bedroom… On Nov. 5, 1979, I phoned George and said ‘It’s now or never.’ Then we formed our first band.”

As Wham! toured the world, DeMacque recalled the joy of listening to his “stunning, pitch perfect voice” every night. Through tears, Holliman said, “George was like a brother to me and I will always be so proud of his incredible achievement.”

Source : Billboard