Having once again avoided the Brit Awards – I avoid the show like I avoid the plague and any other cliches you can think of – I managed today to catch up with something that was rather nice. The tribute to George Michael by his old band made Andrew Ridgeley and the singers Pepsi and Shirley and Chris Martin’s duet with the great man, singing his greatest song, A Different Corner.
The speech went on a bit, for sure, but it was utterly sincere. It doesn’t take much to make me cry and this certainly did. And whilst I feel that Michael’s solo career was generally a huge disappointment compared to the music he made with Wham!, he certainly deserved a good send off. He got one.
First, Andrew Ridgeley. We know that he was not exactly a stellar musical talent and contributed little to Wham! other than playing guitar on some songs and looking good on stage, but he was part of some of the best pop music ever made. I don’t care that Michael looked after his mate by giving him songwriting credits on songs he never really wrote because he loved him and he wanted to look after him. Michael’s generosity is legendary so no one would be surprised by that.
I was thrilled at how well Ridgeley looked. No Robbie Williams hair transplant or Donny Osmond wig. He has allowed himself to grow old gracefully and I thought he looked fabulous. He sounded great too and I hope he can return to Cornwall where he now lives in semi-seclusion.
Second, Chris Martin. I have no issues with Coldplay so long as I don’t have to listen to it. Martin has a decent voice and seems a good bloke – good for him. And for once, last night, he sang something I liked, A Different Corner and did it justice. No Brit Awards would be the Brit awards without Chris Martin churning out some MOR mush (he is not alone: the entire show is designed for middle aged white people, although at least some grime stars were nominated for a change) and for all I know he belted out some Coldplay dirge or other later in the show. I have no idea and won’t be trying to find out.
I think it is rather nice that the country remembers George Michael and gives thanks to him for the music that he made. Okay, many people who never knew or even met him shed a tear, but what’s wrong with that? Are we not allowed to love pop stars when they affect our lives in a nice way?
All the love last night showed what a good bloke George Michael was. It was fitting that his old friends were able to tell the world we have lost someone very special.