Andrew Ridgeley – one half of 80s pop group Wham! – has released a new book titled Wham! George Michael and Me, and chronicles the duo’s friendship, and their time in one of the hottest pop bands of the decade.
George Michael tragically died on Christmas Day aged 53 in 2016, leaving behind a musical legacy having sung infamous tune Last Christmas.
Ridgeley was devastated, and now claims despite Michael gaining all the fame, he was never “jealous” of his bandmate throughout the course of their career working together.
The 56-year-old appears on The Graham Norton Show tonight, where he talks bout his new book, Wham! George And Me.
Speaking about Michael’s solo success, Ridgeley says: “I was never jealous of my best friend.
“But I was envious of his talent.
“I had achieved my ambition of being in a band and playing live and I wanted him to go on and realise his talent as much as he did.”
The star continued: “Personally, it’s our friendship – it will endure, it is eternal.
“For everyone else, he was an exceptional vocalist and songwriter.
“He was brilliant,” Ridgeley adds.
The singer goes on say he thought the negativity after Michael’s death threatened to “overshadow” his legacy.
“It seemed there was negativity after his death that threatened to overshadow his legacy,” he says. “So I wanted to shift the perspective back on to the glory days and what was vibrant and exuberant about
Asked if it was difficult to swallow Wham’s success ended so quickly, Ridgeley is firm.
“No. It all happened so quickly, and the success took us by surprise, but it had a finite lifespan,” the star adds.
Meanwhile, in the book Andrew admitted he still has questions over George’s death, saying he doesn’t have “real closure”.
In excerpts obtained by The Mirror, Andrew explained: “That the circumstances of his death seemed unclear only compounded the distress.
“Without any real closure, the grieving seemed terribly raw.
“A heart condition was recorded as the cause of death,” the singer went on. “But there were still a number of questions.
“He seemed to be in good health and there are conflicting reports surrounding the night [before] his passing. It now seems as if we may never know what really happened.”
The Graham Norton Show airs tonight at 10.35pm on BBC One.