Wham!’s remaining members Andrew Ridgeley, Pepsi and Shirlie have revealed why Chris Martin was the right choice to front the tribute to George Michael at last night’s Brit Awards.
The audience in the hall and viewers at home watched as Andrew, Pepsi and Shirlie took to the stage to remember their decades-long friendship with George, before they introduced the Coldplay frontman. Chris began singing one of George’s biggest ballads ‘A Different Corner’, before the audience heard George’s own voice joining in.
The song was the accompaniment for a video encapsulating some of the star’s biggest moments, and included some personal footage of him with his bandmates.
The trio were interviewed minutes afterwards by Roman Kemp, Shirley’s son and George’s godson, and Pepsi explained why they had asked Chris Martin to do the honours.
“He was the perfect fit, and the fact that he wanted to do it was amazing because I know George just loved his voice, so it was just perfect.”
The tribute was the stand-out moment of the night, and Andrew Ridgeley revealed that the warm atmosphere helped them get through what was a difficult moment for them all.
“It was a really warm atmosphere in the room, and it made it easier for us. It was a fitting place to give and a fitting occasion to give our tribute to our lovely old friend.”
Pepsi added: “I have to say there was incredible amounts of love in the room and we really needed it.”
Shirlie Kemp had difficulty getting through everything she wanted to say, breaking down at one point, and she said afterwards:
“The emotions were so high, and paying respect to someone that you love so much but also someone you know so personally but who everyone knows as an artist, so I was kind of stuck in the middle of all these emotions, but I think it was a great tribute to him.”
She added: “It’s really nice to see artists of this generation appreciate him and love him and he’s inspired them. So it just gives you that depth of his talent which will still go on and inspire many more artists.”
Wham! were speaking to Capital’s Roman Kemp in a world exclusive first interview after paying tribute to George Michael on stage at the BRIT Awards 2017. Roman Kemp’s Capital Evening Show was live from backstage at the BRITs. Listen to Roman Kemp on Capital, Mon-Thurs 7pm-10pm, Sundays 9am-12pm