Andrew Ridgeley and George Michael’s family are “in limbo” as they await the singer’s funeral, which has been delayed by toxicology tests.
The Wham! singer took to the stage at the BRIT Awards on Wednesday night (22Feb17) to pay tribute to his former bandmate, who died on Christmas Day (25Dec16) aged 53.
Speaking backstage at the ceremony, Andrew admitted he and George’s family are all struggling to move on from the singer’s passing because of the delay to the funeral, which is occurring because the coroner is still awaiting results from the toxicology tests, and is unable to release George’s body until then.
“We’ve not had closure. It’s difficult for me. It’s difficult for everyone,” Andrew told Britain’s Daily Mirror newspaper. “It’s a limbo period and we need to be able to move on.”
The funeral is being planned by George’s sisters Melanie and Yioda and, according to reports, is not expected to take place until March (17) at the earliest.
George’s friend Andros Georgiou recently claimed that the singer’s on-off boyfriend Fadi Fawaz was banned from attending the funeral because “the family hate him”.
However, Fadi took to his Twitter to deny the allegations, writing: “George’s family are loving, respectful decent people. Someone who is saying all this rubbish about the funeral has not been part of George’s life for 19 years.”
At the BRIT Awards, Andrew was joined by Wham! backing group Pepsi & Shirlie on stage as they gave emotional speeches remembering their friend and musical colleague.
“On Christmas Day 2016 the greatest singer-songwriter of his generation, an icon of his era and my beloved friend George Michael was lost,” Andrew said. “A superrnova in a firmament of shining stars has been extinguished and it felt like the sky had fallen in.”
He continued to describe how they had started out making music as schoolboys in 1975 and “larked around”, becoming the “best of friends” before forming Wham! in 1979 and conquering the world.
Andrew then remarked on the “transcendental beauty” of his bandmate’s voice before he introduced Coldplay’s Chris Martin to duet alongside footage of George, combining their voices for a rendition of his song A Different Corner.