Wham! released their debut album at age 19 and scored some of the 1980’s most memorable hits
The other half of Wham! Andrew Ridgeley turns 58: Look back at five of the band’s best songs
A Brief Overlook on Andrew Ridgeley’s career with Wham!
Born in Windlesham, Surrey, England on January 26, 1963, most people remembers Andrew Ridgeley as the other half of the 1980’s Pop duo Wham!. Ridgeley and George Michael met in school as children and by the time they were teenagers, they went on to form a band. Wham! was officially founded by George Michael and Andrew Ridgeley in 1981, and thanks to Michael’s unique skills as a songwriter, at age 19 in 1982, they were releasing their debut album “Fantastic”, that featured already several hits for the band including “Wham Rap”, “Young Guns” and “Club Tropicana”. They quickly rose to worldwide fame and success, scoring some of the 1980’s most memorable hits such as “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go” or “Last Christmas” featured on their multi-million seller “Make it Big”. Between 1981 and 1986 they sold more than 35 million records worldwide and were the only British act of that decade to have three No. 1 singles in both the UK and US charts; they also became the first Western pop group to play in China, in front of 15,000 people at the Worker’s Gymnasium in Beijing. But despite being a duo, George Michael was often the center of attention of Wham! and it’s mastermind. When Michael understood that after Wham! was over, because of the songwriting credits, Ridgeley would be in a less priveleged situation than him, he released a solo single, “Careless Whispers” in 1984 and gave credit to Ridgeley, though reportedly it was only written by Michael, but he did so Ridgeley could share royalties. It was George Michael’s well known generosity and friendship that made possible for Wham! to break up friendly, by 1986, the singer wanted to follow into a more adult-oriented market engaging in a solo career, and Wham! gave their final performance in a farewell concert entitled “The Final” in front of 72,000 people at Wembley Stadium on Saturday 28 June 1986, the same day they scored their last No.1 together “The Edge of Heaven”. During his time in Wham!, Ridgeley was often portrayed by the media as being a party animal who regularly got drunk at nightclubs and was reportedly kicked out of the official party at the end of the Live Aid concert 1985 for his wild behavior. Since 1982, Ridgeley has reportedly amassed £10 million from sales and royalties of records, much from the “Careless Whispers” song. George Michael as it’s well known went on to become one of the most influential, best selling and important artists of the last 40 years. In 2005, Ridgeley and Michael made plans to reunite as Wham! for Live 8, but Ridgeley reportedly pulled out at the last minute. Shortly before Michael’s untimely death in 2016, there were rumors for a Wham! reunion tour. Today that Andrew Ridgeley turns 58, here’s 5 of the best Wham! songs.
5 – Everything She Wants, 1985
4 – Freedom, 1985
3 – The Edge of Heaven, 1986
2 – Last Christmas, 1984
1 – Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go, 1984
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