Wham! were an English musical duo formed by members George Michael and Andrew Ridgeley in 1981.They were briefly known in the United States as Wham! UK due to a naming conflict with an American band. Wham! sold more than 30 million certified records worldwide from 1982 to 1986.
Michael and Ridgeley met at Bushey Meads School in Bushey near the town of Watford in Hertfordshire. The two at first performed in a short-lived ska band called the Executive, alongside former school friends David (Austin) Mortimer, Andrew Leaver and Paul Ridgeley.When this group split, Michael and Ridgeley eventually formed Wham!, signing with Innervision Records. British graphic design studio Stylorouge was credited with adding the exclamation point to the name of the band.
Michael took on the majority of roles and responsibilities within the bandÔÇöcomposer, producer, lead singer, and occasional instrumentalist. Still teenagers, they promoted themselves as hedonistic youngsters, proud to live a carefree life without work or commitment. This was reflected in their earliest singles which, part-parody, part-social comment, briefly earned Wham! a reputation as a dance protest group.