Andrew Ridgeley

From The Trax Project
Jump to: navigation, search

Andrew Ridgeley
Birth name Andrew John Ridgeley
Born (1963-{{padleft:01|2|0}-26) 26 January 1963 (age 55)
Windlesham, Surrey, England
  • Singer
  • songwriter
  • record producer
  • Vocals
  • guitar
  • piano
  • keyboards
  • drums
Years active 1981–1991
Associated acts

Andrew John Ridgeley (born 26 January 1963) is an English singer, songwriter, and record producer. He is best known for his work in the 1980s as a member of the musical duo Wham!.

Early life

Ridgeley was born in Windlesham, Surrey, England. His parents are Jennifer and Albert Ridgeley; his mother is English and his father is of Italian and Egyptian descent. Ridgeley grew up in Bushey, Hertfordshire, and attended Bushey Meads School. His mother was a schoolteacher at Bushey Heath Primary School and his father worked for Canon.<ref name="rttnews1">"1963 – Andrew Ridgeley Born". Archived from the original on 24 September 2015. Retrieved 24 December 2012. </ref> When George Michael was enrolled at the school, Ridgeley volunteered to take him under his wing.<ref name="rttnews1"/>


After years of playing in various music groups, the most notable being "The Executive", Michael and Ridgeley formed "Wham!". They then approached various record labels with a homemade tape (which took 10 minutes to record in Ridgeley's living room), and signed with Innervision Records. According to I'm Coming to Take You to Lunch, a book written by Wham's manager, Simon Napier-Bell, the band left Innervision after the first album and signed with CBS.


Main article: Wham!

Wham! enjoyed worldwide success from 1982 to 1986, selling more than 28 million records worldwide.<ref>"George Michael – The History". Retrieved 24 December 2012. </ref> Wham! made their U.S. debut appearance on Dick Clark's American Bandstand and became the only British act in the 1980s to have three No. 1 singles in both the UK and the US.<ref>"WHAM!". Official Charts. Retrieved 24 December 2012. </ref>

Simon Napier-Bell has admitted that he fabricated a story in 1984 that Ridgeley had been hit on the nose by somebody in a nightclub, in order to get publicity for Wham! in British tabloid newspapers. After days of tabloid headlines, it was later revealed that the bandages on Ridgeley's face were because he had cosmetic surgery on his nose.<ref>Andrew Hart. Understanding the Media: A Practical Guide. Retrieved 24 December 2012. </ref>

Wham! had two UK No. 1 singles in 1984 and were competing that year with pop rivals Duran Duran to be Britain's biggest pop act. Napier-Bell devised a publicity scheme which he believed would turn Wham! into major international stars. In April 1985, he took Wham! to China for a 10-day visit. This gained huge worldwide media attention when Wham! became the first Western pop group to play in China, in front of 15,000 people at the Worker's Gymnasium in Beijing.<ref>"How Wham! brought the West to China". BBC News. 24 March 2005. Retrieved 24 December 2012. </ref><ref>"Great gig, shame about the show trial". The Telegraph. 31 March 2001. Retrieved 14 May 2013. </ref> In 1985, Ridgeley performed at the Live Aid charity concert next to backing singers like Kiki Dee, while his bandmate Michael performed with Elton John.

In 1986, "The Edge of Heaven" became Wham!'s fourth and final UK No. 1 single. With George Michael keen to move into a more adult market, Wham! broke up after a farewell concert entitled "The Final" in front of 72,000 people at Wembley Stadium on Saturday 28 June 1986.<ref name="yogsbackyard1">"Tours Menu". Retrieved 24 December 2012. </ref>

On 27 January 1991, Ridgeley joined George Michael on stage for a few songs at the encore of his performance at the Rock in Rio event at the Maracanã Stadium in Rio de Janeiro.<ref name="yogsbackyard1"/> Since 1991, Ridgeley has generally shunned the limelight,<ref name="autogenerated2">"Wham! reunion rumours quashed by George Michael". ITV. 20 June 2012. Retrieved 24 December 2012. </ref> but he did agree to give an interview on camera for a 2005 documentary A Different Story, about the life of George Michael.<ref>"George Michael steps back into spotlight". BBC News. 6 December 2005. Retrieved 24 December 2012. </ref> Ridgeley also appeared as a studio guest on the first series of the BBC 2 programme Fantasy Football League in 1994.<ref>"BBC One – Fantasy Football League, Series 1, Episode 6". BBC. 19 February 1994. Retrieved 24 December 2012. </ref>

In 2005, George Michael and Andrew Ridgeley made plans to reunite as Wham! for Live 8, but Ridgeley reportedly pulled out at the last minute. In 2012, George Michael dismissed rumours that he and Ridgeley were set for a Wham! reunion to mark the 30th anniversary of the group's first record. Michael said that there was no truth in speculation the group would reform for a one-off concert.<ref name="autogenerated2"/>

Upon hearing of Michael's death on 25 December 2016, Ridgeley paid his respects on Twitter, saying, "Heartbroken at the loss of my beloved friend Yog."<ref></ref>


Since 1982, he has reportedly amassed £10 million from sales and royalties of records.<ref name="dailymail1"/> Although the single "Careless Whisper" was issued as a George Michael solo piece, it was credited as being co-written by Ridgeley.<ref>"Radio 2 – Sold on Song – TOP 100 – Careless Whisper". BBC. Retrieved 24 December 2012. </ref> It has sold six million copies worldwide<ref>"George Michael". Songwriting Magazine. 20 August 2012. Archived from the original on 21 April 2013. Retrieved 24 December 2012. </ref> and, to date, is the 34th best-selling single of all time in the United Kingdom, having sold over 1.3 million copies.<ref>"Best Selling Singles of All Time". Retrieved 24 December 2012. </ref> Ridgeley still benefits financially from receiving thousands of pounds a year from his share of "Careless Whisper" royalties alone.<ref name="autogenerated1998"/>

Shortly after the breakup of Wham!, Ridgeley moved to Monaco, and tried his hand at Formula Three motor racing. Meeting with little success, Ridgeley moved to Los Angeles in pursuit of a career in acting. He returned to Britain permanently in 1990.

CBS Records (later Sony Music), having taken up the option on Wham!'s contract that specified solo albums from Michael and Ridgeley, released a guitar and drum driven solo recording from Ridgeley, Son of Albert, in 1990. His brother Paul, an occasional percussionist for Bananarama, played drums on the album. Singles included "Shake" and "Red Dress".

"Shake", which was the first single from his solo album, had only moderate success, reaching No. 16 on the Australian charts<ref name=aus/> and No. 58 in the UK charts.<ref name=uk/> "Shake" was the 81st highest-selling single of 1990 in Australia.<ref>"The ARIA Australian Top 100 Singles Chart 1990 (61–100) (from The ARIA Report No. 50)". (original document published by ARIA). Retrieved 10 October 2016. </ref> "Red Dress" only charted in Australia, where it peaked outside the top 100.<ref name=aus/>

Ridgeley's record company, CBS, passed up the option of a second album from him after unsuccessful sales of the album Son of Albert, which was panned by critics and failed to make the top 75 in the UK.<ref name="dailymail1">"Loser who had the last laugh". Daily Mail. 11 March 2007. Retrieved 24 December 2012. </ref> Son of Albert was one of the worst received albums of 1990, achieving only half a star in a savage Rolling Stone magazine review.<ref name="autogenerated1998">The complete guide to the music of George Michael & Wham! L Ellis. 1998 – Music Sales Group</ref> Ridgeley later said: "It was disappointing and depressing to receive quite such a beating over that album."<ref name="autogenerated1998"/>

Personal life

Ridgeley lives near Wadebridge, Cornwall, England, in a restored 15th-century farm property with his partner Keren Woodward,<ref>"Wham!'s Andrew Ridgeley and girlfriend Keren Woodward secretly split after 25 years – then reconciled". Retrieved 27 December 2016. </ref><ref>"Net celebrity... Keren Woordward". Daily Mail. 28 September 2009. Retrieved 23 April 2012.  (broken link)</ref> a member of the group Bananarama.




Year Single Peak positions Album
<ref name=uk>"Official Charts > Andrew Ridgeley". The Official UK Charts Company. Retrieved 4 September 2016. </ref>
<ref name=aus/>
<ref name=ned/>
<ref>"Andrew Ridgeley – US Hot 100 Chart". Retrieved 9 April 2014. </ref>
1990 "Shake" 58 16 48 77 Son of Albert
"Red Dress" 110
"—" denotes releases that did not chart or were not released.


<references group="" responsive="0"></references>

External links

Lua error in Module:Authority_control at line 346: attempt to index field 'wikibase' (a nil value).