Andrew Ridgeley has said he's in "limbo" following the death of his Wham! bandmate George Michael. He admitted that he has been struggling with the delay in burying his friend, whose funeral cannot go ahead until a coroner gets toxicology results. George passed away on Christmas Day last year. "We've not had closure," Andrew told the Daily Mirror at the Brit Awards on Wednesday. "It's difficult for me. It's difficult for everyone. It's a limbo period and we need to be able to move on."
Earlier that night, Andrew had taken to the stage with his and George's former back-up singers, Helen 'Pepsi' DeMacque and Shirlie Holliman, to pay tribute to the Careless Whisper singer. Andrew fondly recalled how he and George formed their first band after becoming friends at school. "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."
"It's a limbo period and we need to be able to move on," said Andrew Ridgeley
George Michael's 'fitting' BRITs tribute
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." While Andrew called his late friend the "greatest singer-songwriter of his generation", Pepsi went on to say: "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."
George Michael sadly passed away over Christmas
George was 53 when he passed away last year. In a statement to HELLO! his publicist wrote: "It is with great sadness that we can confirm our beloved son, brother and friend George passed away peacefully at home over the Christmas period. The family would ask that their privacy be respected at this difficult and emotional time. There will be no further comment at this stage."
Fadi Fawaz no longer part of George Michael's death investigation
Police confirmed that the death was not being treated as suspicious, but "unexplained". After the post mortem results proved inconclusive, further toxicology tests are being done to determine George's cause of death.