Adele sang “Fastlove” as a tribute to George Michael at the Grammys, but on Wednesday it was his band Wham!’s turn to pay tribute to the late pop star at the Brit Awards in London. Chris Martin also took the stage to perform “A Different Corner.”
The performance follows on the heels of last year’s ceremony, where Lorde sang a moving tribute to David Bowie — who, coincidentally, was expected to win big this year for his much-acclaimed final masterpiece Blackstar.
Wham! members Andrew Ridgeley, Pepsi, and Shirlie began the tribute with a moving speech about their former bandmate. “On Christmas Day 2016, the greatest singer-songwriter of his generation, an icon of his era, and my beloved friend, George Michael was lost,” Ridgeley said. “A supernova in a firmament of shining stars had been extinguished and it felt like the sky had fallen in. It started out ordinarily enough. In 1975 we were two boys who happened to share a mutual sense of humor, a love of life-affirming music, the artists and record it gave birth to, and a shared sense that we understood it.”
“We always knew George was destined to become a star in his own right,” Pepsi said. “His voice was stunning, pitch-perfect, and his performances spell-binding. George, Andrew, and Shirlie changed my life by choosing me to join Wham!”
Shirlie also spoke about his charitable givings. “Anyone who asked for George’s help eventually got it.”
She continued through tears, “George was like a brother to me and I always be so proud of his incredible achievements.”
Ridgely ended the tribute by introducing Coldplay’s Chris Martin, who sang “A Different Corner,” from 1986’s Music from the Edge of Heaven. Halfway through the song, he was joined by a video of Michael singing the track as well. A montage of Michael throughout his life played behind Martin.
Check out highlights from the performance below.