Andrew Ridgeley’s Lasting Friendship and Scrabble Game with George Michael

Andrew Ridgeley
Andrew Ridgeley
George Michael & Andrew Ridgely (Photo by Pete Still/Redferns)

Andrew Ridgeley, widely recognized as one-half of the iconic ’80s pop sensation Wham!, is presently engaged in heartfelt reminiscence of his dear bandmate, George Michael, who tragically departed from this world on Christmas Day in 2016, at the tender age of 53.

At the age of 60, Ridgeley engaged in a candid conversation with PEOPLE in anticipation of the forthcoming Netflix documentary, aptly titled Wham!, where he unveiled a poignant detail about his last encounter with Michael.

During this significant rendezvous, the two cherished friends engaged in a spirited game of Scrabble, a pastime that held a profound significance for the late musical virtuoso.

Ridgeley revealed that Michael possessed an ardent fondness for the renowned board game, and their shared affinity led them to partake in regular bouts of Scrabble.

Fondly reflecting upon their final meeting, the singer-songwriter expressed, “In our preceding match, George emerged as the triumphant victor, and in the depths of my being, I was determined to avenge that defeat.”

The game of Scrabble served as a conduit, transporting them back to the quintessential essence of their youthful camaraderie, evoking the nostalgic aura of friendly competition and playful one-upmanship that characterized their shared schoolboy days. Ridgeley further divulged, “It provided us with an avenue to reconnect with the vibrant spirit of our cherished friendship, nurturing intellectual stimulation for both George and myself.”

With a touch of melancholy, Ridgeley revealed that this cherished game of Scrabble transpired a few months prior to Michael’s untimely departure, while humbly acknowledging that he was not the sole Scrabble companion in Michael’s life.

Andrew Ridgeley’s prominence stems from his role as the other half of the internationally renowned pop duo Wham!. While George Michael ventured into a highly successful solo career, Ridgeley gradually receded from the spotlight. Nevertheless, during the peak of their artistic journey in the 1980s, Wham! stood as one of the most influential pop groups on the global stage.

Hailing from Bushey, Hertfordshire, England, Ridgeley shared a profound bond with George Michael, their friendship solidified during their formative years. The duo initially joined forces as teenagers, establishing their first band, The Executive. However, when the group eventually disbanded, Wham! emerged as the glorious phoenix from the ashes of their previous musical endeavors.

As co-lead vocalists and instrumentalists, Ridgeley and Michael embarked on a journey of creating and performing uplifting pop anthems that struck a chord with audiences worldwide.

The impact of Wham!’s music was palpable, with their debut album, Fantastic, ascending to the summit of the UK charts in 1983. Unforgettable hits such as “Young Guns (Go For It)” and “Bad Boys” established their infectious and vivacious image.

However, it was the release of Make It Big in 1984 that catapulted them into the stratosphere of international fame. Singles like “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go” and the hauntingly beautiful “Careless Whisper” dominated the charts across more than 25 countries.

For the subsequent years, Wham! reigned as one of the most adored musical ensembles across the globe. Astonishingly, at the zenith of their success, in 1986, the duo decided to part ways amicably. George Michael yearned to explore the vast landscape of a solo career, while Ridgeley, contentedly stepping out of the relentless glare of the limelight, embraced a more private existence.

However, their profound bond of friendship remained unbroken, steadfastly enduring until the untimely passing of George Michael on that fateful Christmas Day in 2016.


Related Posts