Wham! and Chris Martin Pay Tribute to George Michael at BRIT Awards: 'George Was Like a Brother'
Wham! members Andrew Ridgeley, Pepsi, and Shirlie began the tribute with a moving speech about their former bandmate
Adele sang “Fastlove” as a tribute to George Michael at the Grammys, but on Wednesday it was his band Wham!’s turn to pay tribute to the late pop star at the BRIT Awards in London. Chris Martin also took the stage to perform “A Different Corner.”
The performance follows on the heels of last year’s ceremony, where Lorde sang a moving tribute to David Bowie — who, coincidentally, was expected to win big this year for his much-acclaimed final masterpiece Blackstar.
Wham! members Andrew Ridgeley, Pepsi, and Shirlie began the tribute with a moving speech about their former bandmate.
“On Christmas Day 2016, the greatest singer-songwriter of his generation, an icon of his era, and my beloved friend, George Michael was lost,” Ridgeley said. “A supernova in a firmament of shining stars had been extinguished and it felt like the sky had fallen in. It started out ordinarily enough. In 1975 we were two boys who happened to share a mutual sense of humor, a love of life-affirming music, the artists and record it gave birth to, and a shared sense that we understood it.”
“We always knew George was destined to become a star in his own right,” Pepsi said. “His voice was stunning, pitch-perfect, and his performances spell-binding. George, Andrew, and Shirlie changed my life by choosing me to join Wham!”
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Shirlie also spoke about his charitable givings. “Anyone who asked for George’s help eventually got it.”
She continued through tears, “George was like a brother to me and I will always be so proud of his incredible achievements. His beautiful voice will live on forever as a gift to us all.”
“Music has magical power. And George knew that,” said Pepsi. “He understood love, loss, happiness and grief… he lives on his music and in our hearts and I will never forget my wonderful friend.”
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Ridgeley ended the tribute by introducing Coldplay’s Martin, who sang “A Different Corner,” from 1986’s Music from the Edge of Heaven. Halfway through the song, he was joined by a video of Michael singing the track as well. A montage of Michael throughout his life played behind Martin.
This article originally appeared on Ew.com