Andrew Ridgeley looks back with fondness at George Michael

Andrew Ridgeley looks back with fondness at George Michael
This undated image released by Dutton shows Andrew Ridgeley, author of “Wham! George Michael & Me." In the book, Ridgeley traces the rise of Wham! and key moments in the band’s career, like the creation of hits like “Careless Whisper” and “Everything She Wants,” their appearances at Live Aid and the time in 1985 when the band became the first Western pop group to visit China. (Urszula Sołtys/Dutton via AP)

NEW YORK (AP) — Long before he was a music icon in skintight jeans, leather jacket and designer stubble, George Michael was something else — awkward, chubby and insecure. He even went by the very unhip nickname Yog.

A loving portrait of a young, striving Michael is offered in a new book by his closest friend and former bandmate, Andrew Ridgeley. His “Wham! George Michael & Me” is part memoir, part monument to one of the biggest pop stars of the 1980s.

Ridgeley says he wrote it “to illustrate our friendship.”

In the book, Ridgeley traces the rise of Wham! and key moments in the band’s career.