From their iconic music video for “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go” to their massive success worldwide, Andrew Ridgeley and George Michael of the musical duo Wham! have left an indelible mark on the music industry. Decades later, Andrew Ridgeley reflects on their time together, the impact they had, and the bittersweet experience of being inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.
Andrew Ridgeley and George Michael met as teenagers and quickly bonded over their shared passion for music. Together, they formed Wham! and embarked on a journey that would define their careers. Ridgeley fondly remembers their early days, stating that the live shows were what he enjoyed the most. It was during this time that their home demo caught the attention of record labels, catapulting them into the music industry.
Wham!’s rise to fame was met with immense success, with hits such as “Bad Boys,” “I’m Your Man,” and “Young Guns” dominating the charts. Ridgeley reflects on these moments with pure joy, emphasizing that there were no major lows throughout their career. This positive outlook is evident in their decision to disband on their own terms, ensuring that their legacy remained untarnished.
Regretful Shorts and Fun Memories
One cannot discuss Wham! without mentioning their fashion choices, particularly the teeny shorts they donned in the “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go” music video. Ridgeley, at 60 years old, jokingly expresses slight regret over the shorts’ length but ultimately acknowledges it as a fun memory. Comparing themselves to the tennis stars of the time who also sported skimpy shorts, Ridgeley dismisses any concerns about accidentally revealing more than intended.
A Shattered Legacy
Unfortunately, Wham!’s journey was not without its challenges. George Michael’s struggle with drug addiction haunted him for many years, ultimately contributing to his untimely death in 2016 at the age of 53. Ridgeley, while acknowledging the sadness that accompanies such loss, finds solace in the fact that their induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame is sweeter than bitter. He urges individuals to focus on the positive aspects and cherishes the fond memories of their time together.
At the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony, Carrie Underwood, Miguel, and Adam Levine of Maroon 5 paid tribute to George Michael by performing some of his greatest hits. This recognition further validates the impact that Wham! and George Michael had on the music industry and solidifies their place in music history. Additionally, the ceremony honored other esteemed musicians such as Sheryl Crow, Willie Nelson, and Missy Elliott, highlighting the lasting legacy of these influential artists.
As Andrew Ridgeley reflects on his time with Wham!, he celebrates the highs, cherishes the memories, and embraces the honor of their induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. While acknowledging the challenges faced by the duo, Ridgeley’s positive outlook shines through, emphasizing the joy and success they experienced throughout their career. Wham!’s iconic songs and their influence on pop music continue to resonate with fans around the world, reminding us of the impact a teenage dream can have on the world.