Schoolfriends George Michael and Andrew Ridgeley first performed together in ska band The Executive before forming the duo Wham! Michael's ear for a catchy melody and the duo's bright dance style attracted teen audiences as they became one of the first UK acts to incorporate rap on the first hit Wham! Rap in 1982. Early on they cultivated a rebellious leather-jacketed image, with backing singers/dancers Pepsi & Shirlie and Dee C. Lee providing the glamour. Michael and Ridgeley quickly became teen pin-ups, lightening their style accordingly with the pure pop of Club Tropicana and Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go making them one of the most popular acts of the 1980s. Michael, the primary songwriter and driving force, explored a more ballad-orientated direction with Careless Whisper and, with Ridgley widely perceived as a passenger, Michael decided to go solo. Having become the first UK act to tour China, Wham! bowed out with an emotional farewell concert at Wembley Stadium in 1986.

Related Artists

Stations Featuring Wham!

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