Andrew Ridgeley, member of the ’80s pop duo Wham!, paid tribute to his former bandmate, the late George Michael, at the 2017 Brit Awards. Michael, the other half of the pop duo, died unexpectedly on December 25, 2016.

Ridgeley’s Speech At Brits

Ridgeley delivered a moving tribute to his friend and former bandmate at the awards show held on Tuesday.

“We were the best of friends,” Ridgeley recalled. “We monkeyed around recording sketches and jingles in George’s bedroom… On Nov. 5, 1979, I phoned George and said ‘It’s now or never.’ Then we formed our first band.”

Ridgeley was accompanied by Helen “Pepsi” DeMacque and Shirlie Holliman, who had toured with Wham! as backing singers known as Pepsi and Shirlie.

Holliman remembered their early attempts at getting signed, sending demos to labels that were rejected with “no thank you” notes. With time, however, they scored time in a studio and recorded a demo of “Wham Rap! (Enjoy What You Do),” which managed to get them signed.

Ridgeley concluded the trio’s emotional tribute by asserting Michael’s spot in the pop group.

“His is a legacy of unquestionable brilliance which will continue to shine and resonate for generations to come. George has left in his songs, in the transcendent beauty of his voice, and in the poetic expression of his soul, the very best of himself. I loved him, and in turn we, you, have been loved,” expressed Ridgeley.

Following these emotional words, Chris Martin took the stage and dueted with Michael through vintage video footage, performing “A Different Corner.” Check out the performance below: