Viewers were left shocked when George Michael’s former Wham! bandmate Andrew Ridgeley appeared on the the BRIT Awards 2017. Andrew Ridgeley with his shaved hair and wearing a purple suit and tie, he looked far away different from the youngster who performed along with George Michael in the 1980s.
Andrew grew up in Bushey, Hertfordshire, England, and attended Bushey Meads School. When George Michael was enrolled at the school, Ridgeley and George became friends. After years of playing in various groups, including the Executive, George and Andrew formed Wham!, and approached various record labels with a homemade tape (which took 10 minutes to record in Andrew’s living room) with Shirlie Holliman, and signed with Innervision Records. Wham’s first debut single, “Young Guns (Go for It)” was performed by Wham and back dancers, Dee C. Lee and Shirlie Holliman. In 1983, Dee C. Lee was replaced by Pepsi DeMacque.
After the farewell concert entitled ‘The Final’ in front of 72,000 people at Wembley Stadium on Saturday, June 28, 1986, Wham! broke up.
Because CBS Records had taken up the option on Wham!’s contract that included solo albums from George and Andrew, a guitar and drum-heavy solo LP from Andrew titled Son of Albert in 1990. Singles included ‘Shake’ (number 58 in the UK) and ‘Red Dress’ was released. However, the album, “Son of Albert” sold poorly. Andrew later said: “It was disappointing and depressing to receive quite such a beating over that album.
With little success in Andrew Ridgeley’s solo career, he moved to Los Angeles for a career in acting. He returned to the UK permanently in 1990, and has enjoyed surfing in his free time.
More recently, Andrew has been very involved in charity work. Earlier this year, he took part in the Dallaglio Cycle Slam, an 18 day and 1800km cycle across the French and Swiss alps.