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20 September 2020, 19:09
Andrew Ridgeley was one half of the biggest pop band on the planet in the mid-1980s.
Alongside childhood friend George Michael, Andrew scored many classic hits as part of Wham!
However, while George went on to become an iconic pop legend in his own right, Andrew preferred to largely stay out of the limelight and didn't pursue a career in music.
In 2019, Andrew has published a book about his close friendship with George, titled George and Me.
Here are all the important facts about Andrew every fan should know:
Andrew grew up in Bushey, Hertfordshire, and attended Bushey Meads School.
When George Michael was enrolled at the school, Ridgeley volunteered to look after him.
After years of playing in various groups, including the Executive, George and Andrew formed Wham!
They approached various record labels with a homemade tape (which took 10 minutes to record in Andrew's living room) and signed with Innervision Records.
Wham! broke up after a farewell concert entitled 'The Final' in front of 72,000 people at Wembley Stadium on Saturday, June 28, 1986.
CBS Records had taken up the option on Wham!'s contract that included solo albums from George and Andrew, and so released a guitar and drum-heavy solo LP from Andrew titled Son of Albert in 1990. Singles included 'Shake' (number 58 in the UK) and 'Red Dress'.
The album sold poorly and was panned by critics. He later said: "It was disappointing and depressing to receive quite such a beating over that album.
Soon after the breakup of Wham!, Andrew moved to Monaco, and tried out Formula Three motor racing.
With little success, he moved to Los Angeles for a career in acting. He returned to the UK permanently in 1990.
More recently, Andrew has been very involved in charity work. Two years ago, he took part in the Dallaglio Cycle Slam, an 18 day and 1800km cycle across the French and Swiss alps.
In 2019, he had a cameo as an audience member in the movie Last Christmas, a film inspired by and using the music of George Michael and Wham!
Andrew Ridgeley was born on January 26, 1963. He celebrated his 57th birthday in 2020.
He was born in Windlesham, Surrey. His parents are Jennifer John (née Dunlop) and Alberto Mario Zacharia (who later changed his surname to Ridgeley). His mother is Scottish and his father is of Italian and Egyptian descent.
For 25 years, he was in a relationship with Bananarama star Keren Woodward, and they announced their split in 2017.
However, they are thought to have rekindled their relationship in 2019.
Since 1982, he has reportedly amassed £10 million from sales and royalties of records.
Although 'Careless Whisper' was a George Michael solo song, it was credited as being co-written by Andrew. He still receives thousands of pounds each year from his share of 'Careless Whisper' royalties alone.
According to The Richest, he has a net worth of around £18 million.