Wham! bandmate Andrew Ridgeley has led the musical world in expressing heartache following the death of George Michael. Ridgeley said he was “heartbroken at the loss of my beloved friend Yog”, referencing a nickname that stuck after he heard Michael’s mum calling him by his Greek name. He added: “Me, his loved ones, his friends, the world of music, the world at large. 4ever loved. A xx” Michael’s pal Sir Elton John also paid tribute to his “beloved friend”, along with numerous other star names from the 1980s pop scene. Writing on Instagram, Elton said: “I have lost a beloved friend - the kindest, most generous soul and a brilliant artist.”
I am thinking of @GeorgeMichael’s family, friends and fans right now. He was so loved and I hope he knew it because the sadness today is beyond words. Devastating. What a beautiful voice he had and his music will live on as a testament to his talent. I can’t believe he is gone. I hope Buddha will hold him in his arms.
Former Culture Club singer Boy George
Madonna paid her own tribute, posting an undated video on Twitter in which she embraced Michael on stage. In it she tells the audience: “He’s a great songwriter and he makes very classy videos, like me.” Bob Geldof, the former Boomtown Rats singer who spearheaded Band Aid in 1985, said: “We’ve lost another friend. Watching Band Aid is going to get even harder and more sad. Goodnight George Michael. RIP.” Spandau Ballet described the singer as a “brilliant artist & great songwriter”, while Matt Goss, singer in the band Bros, said he was “true pop royalty”. The Pet Shop Boys said: “Dear George, gone too soon. It’s so sad. Heartfelt condolences to his family and friends. Love Neil and Chris.” Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn paid tribute to Michael’s dedication to equality campaigning. He said: “Sad to hear that George Michael has died. He was an exceptional artist and a strong supporter of LGBT and workers’ rights.”
I’ve loved George Michael for as long as I can remember. He was an absolute inspiration. Always ahead of his time.
TV personality James Corden, who collaborated with Michael for an early incarnation of his carpool karaoke feature