Andrew Ridgeley leads tribute to George Michael at Rock n Roll Hall of Fame induction

Stars such as Adam Levine and Carrie Underwood performed some of his most iconic songs too.

Seven years after his untimely death, George Michael has been posthumously inducted into the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame by none other than his childhood best friend and former Wham! bandmate, Andrew Ridgeley.

The late singer was inducted to the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame on November 3, 2023. Other artists honoured during the event include Kate Bush, Sheryl Crow, Missy Elliot, Willie Nelson, Rage Against the Machine and The Spinners.

There to induct the beloved musician into the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame was his childhood best friend and former Wham! singer, Andrew Ridgeley, 60.

Andrew took to the stage to induct George Michael, who died December 25, 2016, lauding the late singer for his talents and his ability to analogise the “pain and ecstasy that life occasions” through his music.

“We achieved as Wham! our burning boyhood ambition…Wham! was the realisation of everything I had ever aspired to, and the realisation for George that stretching before him along a gilded and infinite path lay his destiny,” Andrew recalled.

“George considered his talents in descending order as those of songwriter, producer and singer…It was the breathtaking beauty and the way he delivered that sense that in my opinion, was his greatest gift – his voice.” 

Following Andrew’s touching tribute to his former bandmate, singer Miguel performed an ode to the late singer with a rendition of Careless Whisper while Maroon 5 frontman Adam Levine performed Faith and Carrie Underwood sang One More Try.

George Michael (1963-2016) and Andrew Ridgeley (on left) of Wham! performing together live on stage during the pop duo's 1985 world tour, January 1985. 'The Big Tour' took in the UK, Japan, Australia, China and the US. (Photo by Michael Putland/Getty Images)

Whilst Andrew took a sombre moment to remember George, he wasn’t afraid to poke fun at Wham! in a number of interviews following the ceremony.

Speaking to Page Six at the event, Ridgeley poked fun at the tiny shorts he and George Michael donned in the iconic Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go music video.

“[I’m] not amazed [at how short they were but] slightly, how shall I say? Regretful,” Andrew told Page Six, later clarifying that “it was all a bit of fun,” and that tennis stars of the day – namely Björn Borg and John McEnroe – also donned tiny shorts.

Alongside George Michael, Kate Bush was also inducted into the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame following the mega revival of her hit Running Up That Hill thanks to Netflix’s Stranger Things.

Whilst Kate was honoured with an induction, the singer explained to fans in a letter on her website that she would not be attending the ceremony saying, “For me the real honour is knowing that you felt I deserved it.”

“The RRHOF has welcomed me into the most extraordinary rostrum of overwhelming talent,” the singer added.

George Michael’s Hall of Fame induction comes off the back of a revived interest in Wham! following the release of the self-titled Netflix documentary in June, 2023.

The documentary, which featured archival interviews with George and Andrew, followed Wham!’s meteoric, and unexpected, rise to fame, George’s struggle with his sexuality and the stories behind their biggest hits.

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