Andrew Ridgeley to write tell-all Wham! autobiography
Andrew Ridgeley will pen a memoir about his friendship with George Michael and the formation of their band Wham!.
Wham!, George & Me will detail his friendship with Michael over the years from their meeting in 1975 at Bushey Meads School to their rise to fame and success with hits including Last Christmas and Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go in the 1980s.
It will also cover the band’s farewell gig at London’s Wembley Stadium on June 28 1986, when they said goodbye to their fans and each other.
Michael died on Christmas Day in 2016 at the age of 53.
A post-mortem examination found he had died from heart disease and a build-up of fat in his liver, which can be linked to drug and alcohol abuse.
Ridgeley later wrote in the Mail On Sunday: “The sheer eviscerating sense of loss cut my legs from beneath me and, on the deck and on my knees, I cried like I’d never cried before.
“Nothing had prepared me for the depth of pain George’s death precipitated.”
Louise Moore, managing director of publisher Michael Joseph/Penguin, said: “Andrew is the only man who can tell this story. It’s a memoir of love, friendship and music.
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“When I first heard about this, I just wanted to publish this book and bring the story to all those millions of fans. It’s a delight and a privilege to work with Andrew and we are incredibly excited about publication.”
Wham! officially split after ‘The Final’ a farewell concert in front of 72,000 people at Wembley Stadium on Saturday 28 June 1986.
After the split, Ridgeley moved to Monaco in a bid to launch a motor racing career. He later moved to Los Angeles to become an actor.
Notoriously private, Ridgeley rarely gives interviews about his life as a pop star, but he appeared with Michael in A Different Story, a 2005 documentary about the life of his Wham! compatriot. A reunion was mooted for their first live appearance in decades at Live 8, but that never came to fruition.
Ridgeley reportedly still earns millions in royalties from the sale of Wham! singles and albums.