Brit Awards: Andrew Ridgeley, Chris Martin Deliver Extended Tribute to George Michael
Michael and Ridgeley's Wham! bandmates, Pepsi and Shirlie, also remembered their friend, their voices breaking as they spoke about him.
The 2017 Brit awards devoted more than 10 minutes to paying tribute to George Michael.
The London-set music awards show brought former Wham! members Andrew Ridgeley, Pepsi and Shirlie and Coldplay frontman Chris Martin out to remember Michael, who was found dead on Christmas Day 2016.
Ridgeley, Pepsi and Shirlie took the stage first, reading from prepared remarks about Michael.
Ridgeley began by revealing what it felt like when the news of Michael's death broke. "The greatest singer-songwriter of his generation, an icon of a beloved era and my best friend, George Michael, was lost," he said. "A supernova in a firmament of shining stars had been extinguished and it felt as if the sky had fallen in."
The trio then recalled Wham's formation and success and remembered Michael as a tremendous talent and close friend.
Pepsi appeared to get choked up as she said she'd "never forget [her] wonderful friend." Shirlie also struggled to maintain her composure as she said Michael was "like a brother" to her, adding that she "will always be proud of his incredible achievements."
She added, "His beautiful voice will live on forever as a gift to us all."
"His legacy is one of unquestionable brilliance and one that will shine and resonate for decades to come," Ridgeley added. "George has left for us, in the songs, in the transcendental beauty of his voice and in the poetic expression of his soul, the very best of himself. I loved him and in turn, we, you have been loved."
Ridgeley, Pepsi and Shirlie also introduced Chris Martin, who performed "A Different Corner" as a tribute to Michael.
Martin began his performance singing solo onstage, backed by just a piano. But soon images and video of Michael appeared behind him as the crowd waved hand-held lights. Halfway through the song, Martin's vocals melded with Michael's performance of the same song as if the two were performing a duet. Towards the end of the performance, footage also aired of Prince saying, "Peace, George Michael."