Andrew Ridgeley and George Michael first crossed paths in school when they were still children and soon turned their friendship into a musical collaboration, leading to the formation of Wham! in 1981.
In the band’s early phase, Michael and Ridgeley approached a few companies with a ten-minute demo, eventually securing a contract with Innervision Records. This later brought on the release of three albums that went platinum multiple times, and with Ridgeley’s contribution as co-writer, the singles from them received success in the ’80s.
While ‘Last Christmas’ from their last album achieved platinum status in the UK, the US, and Australia, ‘Careless Whisper’ from 1984’s ‘Make It Big’ sold over six million copies, peaking in the charts in more than twenty countries.
After Wham! disbanded in 1986, Ridgeley continued to receive royalties from these songs. According to the reports, the royalties from ‘Careless Whisper’ alone have brought him at least $10 million over the years.
Outside of Wham!, the singer attempted acting, tried a Formula Three career, released a solo album called ‘Son Of Albert,’ and published the memoir ‘Wham! George & Me’ three years after George Michael’s passing in 2016.
Although he and Michael never reunited the band after the ‘The Final’ concert, Ridgeley took part in other Wham!-related projects like documentaries throughout the years. With a career that lasted more than three decades, he earned a $40 million net worth.