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Andrew Ridgeley of Wham! talks about George Michael at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

Andrew Ridgeley of Wham! chatted about George Michael at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Andrew Ridgeley of Wham! at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony
Andrew Ridgeley of Wham! at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony. Photo Credit: Markos Papadatos
Andrew Ridgeley of Wham! at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony. Photo Credit: Markos Papadatos

Andrew Ridgeley of Wham! chatted about George Michael at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

The induction ceremony was held at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, and George Michael was posthumously inducted into the “Performers” category.

George Michael’s Wham! band-mate Andrew Ridgeley accepted the award on his behalf, and made an eloquent acceptance speech.

The late pop-rock star had formed the pop duo Wham! with schoolmate Andrew Ridgeley in 1981. They achieved teen idol status with hits like “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go” and the timeless holiday hit “Last Christmas.” Michael’s first foray into the solo spotlight with the introspective hits “Careless Whisper” and “A Different Corner,” which eventually spelled the end of the group in 1986. 

Music stars Carrie Underwood, Adam Levine of Maroon 5, and Miguel all performed the songs “One More Try,” “Faith,” and “Careless Whisper” respectively at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony in George Michael’s honor.

Andrew Ridgeley in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame press room

On accepting George Michael’s trophy, Ridgeley said, “It was a privilege. I would have felt sad if someone else had done it. He would have really appreciated it especially because this award is voted by both his peers and the public.”

“The fact that Wham!’s music endured is testament to its quality and the vitality that exists within it. I am always amazed that the music appeals to youngsters the way that it does. Also, I feel like it’s timeless, and I am very privileged to be in that position,” Ridgeley elaborated.

George Michael making history with ‘Faith’ album

George Michael made history with his album “Faith,” which was the first album by a white solo album to hit No. 1 on the Billboard Top Black Albums Charts. “That is particularly valuable to George and poignant. He revered black music and black artists, and they meant a great deal to him,” Ridgeley said.

“The DNA in a lot of George’s work came from black artists,” he said. “Black music was a big part of that. This was an extraordinary occasion in itself and it meant a great deal to George.”

A special on stage moment with George Michael

When asked if he recalled a special moment on stage with George Michael, Ridgeley revealed, “Being on stage together was always great fun. Actually an amazing memory was when he would do his solo act for half hour before we would go on stage together.”

The 2023 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony is available to stream on Disney+ and ABC, will air a special on Monday, January 1.

Markos Papadatos
Written By

Markos Papadatos is Digital Journal's Editor-at-Large for Music News. Papadatos is a Greek-American journalist and educator that has authored over 21,000 original articles over the past 18 years. He has interviewed some of the biggest names in music, entertainment, lifestyle, magic, and sports. He is a 16-time "Best of Long Island" winner, where for three consecutive years (2020, 2021, and 2022), he was honored as the "Best Long Island Personality" in Arts & Entertainment, an honor that has gone to Billy Joel six times.

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