George Michael died two months ago at 53-years-old at his Thames-side home in Goring, Oxfordshire, but because there’s an ongoing investigation into his death, the late superstar has still not been buried. Fans can only imagine the anguish and grief this must be causing his family and friends.
Huffington Post reported that Andrew Ridgeley, Michael’s former Wham! bandmate, spoke on Wednesday evening at the BRIT Awards of the torment the singer’s family and friends are going through over the delay in their loved one’s funeral.
“We’ve not had closure. It’s difficult for me. It’s difficult for everyone. It’s a limbo period and we need to be able to move on.”
It appears that they’re awaiting the coroner signing off on the cause of Michael’s death and until such time as more toxicology reports are available, this won’t occur.
Andrew Ridgeley, together with bandmates Shirlie and Pepsi, spoke at the BRIT Awards about their long-time friend and celebrated not only his musical talents but also his capacity for kindness. While the audience viewed a video montage of Michael’s life, Chris Martin sang his ballad “A Different Corner.”
Paying tribute to one of England’s greatest singer-songwriters at the BRIT Awards was always going to be a tall order. While his bandmates spoke of their music, it was the singer’s friendship they were really mourning. And, in their opinion, Chris Martin’s rendition of “A Different Corner” was a fitting tribute to their lost friend.
Award attendees said that George Michael’s former bandmates struggled to keep their emotions in check as they paid their emotional tribute to him.
Andrew Ridgeley described Michael as his “beloved friend,” “an icon of his era,” and “the greatest singer-songwriter of his generation” saying that on Christmas Day 2016 his beloved friend, George Michael, was lost.
“A supernova in a ferment of shining stars had been extinguished, and it felt like the sky had fallen in. We larked around and laughed a lot, we were the best of friends. George’s contribution to the great archive of contemporary music rests alongside the immortals.”
Then, Shirlie Kemp made an emotional speech.
“George has left for us in his songs, in the transcendental beauty of his voice, and poetic expression of his soul, the very best of himself. I loved him and in return, we, you, have been loved. George was like a brother to me. And will always be. His wonderful way with words spoke to everyone. And his beautiful voice will live on forever as a gift to us all.”
Boy George spoke openly about his long-term rivalry with George Michael on Piers Morgan’s Life Stories, saying that their mutual friends had often attempted to bring them together, but with no success.
“We had our squabbles, he was my rival, he was called George, he made soul music so everything he did it was like we were kind of battling all the time. The only time we really got together was when friends tricked us. There was this one particular night where the two girls in Bananarama invited me to a dinner at a Japanese restaurant and he was there as well and we had such a brilliant time because we had so much in common. But I suppose our egos wouldn’t allow us to really be friends.”
During a Las Vegas concert, Sir Elton John broke down during a rendition of his duet with George Michael, “Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me.” Sir Elton paid a moving tribute to his musical peer and friend, George Michael, revealing the one song of Michael’s that he’s jealous of and wishes he’d written himself.
“It’s going to start out with a song of his from the Faith album called ‘One More Try’ which if Aretha Franklin sang, it wouldn’t be any great surprise. I don’t get jealous of many songs, but I’m jealous of this song. I’d love to have written this.”
Sir Elton reflected on the late superstar’s kindness and generosity, and on his talents as a vocalist and songwriter, saying he was one of the best in the world.
“I became friends with him very early on in Wham! and I remember I played at the last Wham! concert dressed as Ronald McDonald for some reason at Wembley Stadium and I bought him a 3-wheeler car, with him and Andy, and I put their names on the front of it and put some fairy dice it was a real clapped out thing. It was an amazing friendship based on music to start with, and I remember sitting in the car just off of Hyde Park listening to a cassette of ‘Wake Me Up Before You Go Go’ and I said, ‘George, that’s the nearest record I’ve heard to a Motown record for years and years.’ It was such a great record, and he and I became great friends.”
Sir Elton recalled that George Michael’s generosity and kindness was offered to so many people and that he never wanted any publicity. Sir Elton added that he’ll miss the late singer so much for his music, but mostly for his humanity.
[Featured Image by Scott Alfieri/Getty Images]