After meeting each other at school in the seventies, George Michael (real name eorgios Kyriacos Panagiotou) and Andrew Ridgeley (real name Andrew Ridgeley) formed a band called Wham! and, still just teenagers, they released their first record “Wham Rap!” in 1982.
The record made it straight into the top ten in the UK charts and it wasn't long before their next record “Young Guns (Go for It!)” climbed even higher in the charts to achieve a number three position. Over the course of just four short years, between 1982 and 1986, the good-looking and charismatic boys released eleven singles, four of which made it to number one in the UK charts with the remainder making it into the top ten.
Their first number one hit for Wham! was the unforgettably catchy “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go” which had an accompanying music video that featured George Michael and Andrew Rigeley prancing around the stage, dancing like drunken uncles at a naff wedding party, wearing baggy white t-shirts with the slogan “Choose LIFE” printed on them. The backing singers, included the soon-to-be-famous-in-their-own-right “Pepsi and Shirlie”, who all wore white t-shirts with “GO-GO” written on them .
By this time, the boys had become enormously successful and were especially popular with teenage girls who found the combination of espadrilles, rolled up jacket sleeves and bouffant hair, too heady a combination to resist. The boys' antics of placing shuttlecocks down the front of their shorts during concerts helped them to gain both publicity and notoriety and just one year after their debut, Wham! was already rivalling Duran Duran and Culture Club for the title of Britain’s biggest pop act.
Wham's next song “Freedom” again reached number one in the charts and was closely followed by “Everything She Wants” and “Last Christmas”. In 1985 and 1986, Wham! released three more memorable hits which all made it to number one: “I’m Your Man”, “The Edge of Heaven” and “Where Did Your Heart Go?” before deciding to quit while they were ahead having sold 25 million records together.
On the 28th June 1986 a final emotional farewell concert was held at Wembley Stadium where 73,000 fans witnessed Wham! perform for the very last time.