On the same day they played Wembley for a farewell concert they scored their last No.1 with their final single “The Edge Of Heaven” peaking to the top of the UK singles charts
On this day in 1986 Wham! wrote the final chapter on their history
On June 28, 1986, Wham! wrote the final chapter on their history. The successful 1980’s Pop duo of George Michael and Andrew Ridgeley had announced earlier that year the end Wham!, announcing the breakup, George Michael said: “I think it should be the most amicable split in pop history.” And indeed it was. The duo released one final album, entitled “The Final” consisting of remixed greatest hits and new songs, and the release of a double-single “The Edge Of Heaven”, which peaked to No.1 at the UK singles charts on the very same day the band gave their final concert, June 28, 1986. It was their final hit after only 3 years of worldwide success with songs such as “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go”, “Last Christmas”, “Everything She Wants”, “I’m Your Man”, “Freedom”, “Wham Rap!”, “Club Tropicana” and so many others. With only two original studio albums, the duo peaked quickly to worldwide success, their debut, “Fantastic”, released in 1983 when Michael was only 20 years old, already featured a string of hit songs, the follow up, “Make It Big”, a No.1 album in several countries, established them as one of the biggest Pop forces in the decade. By 1986, George Michael desires of free himself from the Teen Pop idol at age only 23, dictated the end of Wham!. He went on to have a successful solo career, but not before making sure his bandmate Andrew Ridgeley could be also making a comfortable living for his years in Wham!, one of now best known facts is that Michael’s first solo hit, the 1984 “Careless Whispers” wrote when he was only 17, was included on the Wham! album “Make It Big”, crediting Ridgeley as a co-author, although he had no part on it. Wham! ended their career on the same day they went No.1 with “The Edge Of Heaven”, they gave a final concert, at Wembley Stadium on June 28, 1986, that included several festivities, including the premiere of their documentary “Wham! in China: Foreign Skies” shown on large screens on either side of the stage. On a scorching hot day in London, an estimated audience of 80.000 fans said farewell, as the band, together with their back vocalists Pepsi and Shirley, ended the concert with an emotional embrace to the fans. The concert itself featured all Wham! hits, including the new songs, and surprise guests. Elton John, dressed in Ronald McDonald make-up and costume, performed his song “Candle In The Wind” with Wham! and later, during the final song, “I’m Your Man”, they were joined by the Duran Duran lead singer Simon Le Bon and again Elton John. It was a fair goodbye on the best way possible for the band that had been together during only a five year period, and had sold 28 million records and 15 million singles since their 1982 debut single “Wham Rap!”. In 2016, rumors about a Wham! reunion begun circulating, but sadly, would never happen as George Michael passed away aged 53 on Christmas Day 2016. Their final concert was never officially released but has been available through fan made footage throughout the years.
Watch the 1986 music video “The Edge Of Heaven” by Wham!
Watch rare footage of a backstage interview with Wham! before their farewell concert
Watch fan made footage from the farewell concert of Wham! at Wembley Stadium
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