In the middle of the 1980s, Andrew Ridgeley was a member of Wham! alongside his childhood friend George Michael.

While Andrew chose to primarily avoid the spotlight and didn’t pursue a music career, George went on to become a beloved musical legend in his own right.

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Where is Andrew Ridgeley now? 

Ridgeley was born in 1953 to Jennifer and Albert Ridgeley in Windlesham, Surrey, and was raised in Bushey, Hertfordshire.

When he enrolled at Bushey Meads school, he met and grew close to his future bandmate George Michael.

Before forming Wham!, the pair performed together for many years.

In 1981, Ridgeley and George both first played together in a short-lived ska band called The Executive.

They signed with Innervision Records after submitting a homemade demo that, according to Ridgeley, only took 10 minutes to record.

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The duo went on to sell an astonishing 25 million records throughout three studio albums, and songs like Ake Me Up Before You Go-Go, I’m Your Man, and the cherished holiday classic, Last Christmas, were major singles in both the UK and the US.

On their massive 1985 world tour, Wham! played 10 historic gigs in China, making them the first Western pop group to do so.

That was part of a PR campaign conceived by their manager Simon Napier-Bell, who acknowledged fabricating an account of Ridgeley being struck in the face to raise the duo’s profile in 1984.

The bandage on Ridgeley’s face, which generated tabloid rumors, was a result of cosmetic nose surgery.

While George and Andrew sang with Elton John at the renowned charity event Live Aid in 1985, Ridgeley was included as one of Kiki Dee’s backing singers.

Wham! announced their breakup in 1986 as George’s solo career was beginning to take off after the release of the hit song Careless Whisper and the singer was aiming to move into a more adult market.

The breakup was dubbed “the most amicable split in pop history,” according to George, and they said goodbye to their fans with a massive farewell performance at Wembley Stadium.

Following their victorious farewell concert, Ridgeley briefly quit the music business and relocated to Monaco to pursue a career as a Formula Three racing driver.

He made another job move and relocated to Los Angeles to pursue an acting career after experiencing little success.

Son of Albert, Ridgeley’s sole solo album, was released in 1990, the same year he made a permanent move back to the UK.

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While Shake, one of the album’s singles, had a modest amount of success in Australia, Son of Albert was a critical and commercial flop.

Later, Ridgeley told the media, “It was depressing and disappointing to receive quite such a beating over that album.”

He has, however, generally shied away from the spotlight even then.

In Brazil in 1991, Ridgeley shared a stage with his old Wham! bandmate, but their 2005 performance at Live8 didn’t happen, and they never reunited.

From his time with Wham!, he reputedly earned more than £10 million in royalties, with a large portion coming from a co-writing credit on the well-known George Michael solo song Careless Whisper.

It’s believed that Ridgeley continues to write songs under a pseudonym.

He has had multiple invitations to go on Strictly Come Dancing, but he always turns them down.