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Queerty: Wham!’s Andrew Ridgeley recalls his final moments with bandmate George Michael

Wham!UNITED KINGDOM – OCTOBER 28: HAMMERSMITH ODEON Photo of WHAM!, George Michael & Andrew Ridgely (Photo by Pete Still/Redferns)

From childhood pals to global pop stars overnight, the story of WHAM! is one of friendship amid a meteoric rise to fame.

It’s the strong connection between George Michael and Andrew Ridgeley that serves as the through-line for Netflix‘s new documentary, Wham!, which dives deep into the pop duo’s white-hot success in the ’80s—and their decision to part ways while they were on top of the world.

The doc provides a never-before-seen look at Wham!’s journey with support from Michael’s estate and unprecedented access to his archive, plus a first-hand account of their superstardom from Ridgeley himself, who has largely remained out of the public eye these past few decades.

To mark the documentary’s debut, Ridgeley exclusively spoke with People and opened up for the first time about his final conversations with his friend and band mate before Michael’s passing on December 25, 2016 at the age of 53.

Though they seldom made public appearances together—and never got around to doing an official reunion, as widely speculated—the pair remained in close contact and frequently met “over the Scrabble board,” it turns out.

As Ridgeley reveals, Michael was “a big fan [of the board game,] and we’d have regular games of Scrabble.”

Their last match was “a few months prior to his passing,” and Ridgeley jokes he was exacting revenge after Michael had beaten him just the week before.


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It’s pretty adorable to hear that these two maintained such a playful and youthful connection, especially when you consider that they first met as classmates at a secondary school (basically, “high school” in the U.K.) in their early teens.

“It took us right back to just… the essence of our schoolboy friendship and one-upmanship,” Ridgeley recalls of their regular Scrabble bouts. “It was a game that stimulated him, and me also.”

Heartbroken at the loss of my beloved friend Yog. Me, his loved ones, his friends, the world of music, the world at large. 4ever loved. A xx

— Andrew Ridgeley (@ajridgeley) December 26, 2016

Wham! arrives ahead of Michael’s induction into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame this fall, honoring the a achievements of the trailblazing gay musician.

Speaking of his old pal’s honor, Ridgeley says it is “obviously a great privilege, and I’m sure that he would recognize it as such. He was aware of the meaning of accolades from his peers.”

“He would be very rightly proud, and he deserves his place there. You know, he is a genuine legend and an icon of contemporary music,” Ridgeley continues. “He was probably the finest singing voice and songwriter of his generation. There ain’t too many that held a candle to him.”

People closes out its chat with Ridgeley by asking what he’d say to Michael if he were alive today:

“What would I say to him? Oh, let’s go and have a drink.”

The documentary Wham! is now streaming exclusively on Netflix.

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