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Wham! Biography

Home > Music > W > Wham! > Biography

Birth Place: London, England
Years Active: 1981–1986
Genres: Pop, Disco

Wham! was a short-lived British musical duo formed by George Michael and Andrew Ridgeley in the early 1980s. Wham! sold 25 million certified records from 1982 to 1986.

Their début record was “Wham Rap!” in June 1982. It was one of the first singles by a British group to include rapping. Their first album, “Fantastic,” was released in 1983 and went to #1 on the U.K. Albums chart. It included the previously-released singles “Young Guns,” “Wham! Rap” and “Bad Boys.” “Club Tropicana” was also released as a single, as was “Club Fantastic Megamix.”

In 1984 they released the LP, “Make It Big,” which went to #1 on the U.K. Albums chart and the Billboard 200 Albums chart. “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go,” “Everything She Wants,” “Freedom” and “Careless Whisper” were all released as singles and all reached #1 in the U.K. It was certified 6x platinum in the U.S. within weeks of the album's tenth anniversary.

Their third and final studio album, “Music from the Edge of Heaven,” was issued in 1986. The album was only released in Japan and the Americas, other territories got “The Final” instead. Both albums are related and have similar tracks, except “The Final” also contained all of the band's main singles and is more of a greatest hits album, while “Music from the Edge of Heaven” is commonly regarded as Wham!'s third studio album. All songs on the album could be found elsewhere on various singles released through Wham!'s career.

Michael desired to create music targeted to a more sophisticated audience than the duo's primarily teenage fan-base. Therefore, Michael and Ridgeley officially announced the breakup of Wham! in the spring of 1986. The farewell single was “The Edge of Heaven,” which reached #1 in June, 1986. “Where Did Your Heart Go?” was the group's final single in the United States.