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Andrew Ridgeley, Pepsi & Shirlie pay heart-breaking tribute to George Michael at Brit awards

Emmy Griffiths

George Michael's former bandmate Andrew Ridgeley along with their former back-up singers, Helen 'Pepsi' DeMacque and Shirlie Holliman paid a touching tribute to George Michael at the Brit awards with some help from Chris Martin. The trio took to the stage to speak lovingly about their friend, who sadly passed away on Christmas Day 2016. Andrew began by speaking about forming their first band after becoming friends at school.

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"We were two boys who happened to share a mutual sense of humour… and a shared sense we understood," he said. "We messed around making jingles in George's bedroom… We larked around and laughed a lot. We were the best of friends. Thus we formed our first band. It sparked and spluttered leaving two that became three." Shirley then said: "The three of us hung out listening to music and making up dance routines to the early sounds of the eighties… These innocent moments became the seed in which his amazing and enthralling showmanship evolved," before Andrew spoke about how Careless Whisper helped them back a huge breakthrough.

He said: "Careless Whisper was the song that got us signed the song that glimpsed his extraordinary talent and the song that launched him as a solo artist." Both Pepsi and Shirlie became emotional while speaking about the iconic singer, and Pepsi said: "We always knew that George was destined to become a star in his own right, on tour Shirlie and I would watch him sing. His voice was stunning, pitch perfect."

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George's band mates paid an emotional tribute to the star

Before introducing Coldplay's frontman Chris Martin, Andrew said: "George was like a brother to me, and I will always be so proud of his incredible achievements. I remember him telling me with great pride that You Have Been Loved was one of Princess Diana's songs… He understood love, loss, happiness and grief and used it to help heal the wounds life inflicted on us… I will never forget my wonderful friend." Fans were quick to praise the beautiful tribute, with Phillip Schofield writing: "What beautiful & moving tribute to #georgemichael #BRITs." Singer Dean Boroczky added: "Thank you George Michael for the music. You will be missed."

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