The late pop star’s Wham! bandmates Andrew Ridgeley, Pepsi and Shirlie (real names Helen DeMacque and Shirlie Holliman) introduced the performance. The trio took the stage to share stories of their days making music with their bandmate, playing around in Michael’s bedroom and dropping off demos to be mailed out at the post office. Michael was 53 when he was found in bed by his partner on Dec. 25.
“On Christmas Day 2016, the greatest singer-songwriter of his generation, an icon of his era, and my beloved friend, George Michael, was lost,” Ridgeley said, reading from a prepared statement.
“A supernova in a firmament of shining stars had been extinguished, and it felt like the sky had fallen in,” he added. “It started out ordinarily enough: In 1975, we were two boys that happened to share a mutual sense of humor, a love of life-affirming music, the records and artists it gave birth to, and a shared sense that we understood it.”
“His beautiful voice will live on forever as a gift to us all,” DeMacque said with tears in her eyes.
“We were the best of friends,” Ridgeley said.
Martin began alone on the stage singing the single, originally written and recorded by Michael. As the song progressed, images and footage of Michael began playing on a screen behind the Coldplay frontman. At one point, a video of Michael singing “A Different Corner” himself took over, until Martin joined him in perfect synchronization.
The late star, whose chart-topping hits include “Last Christmas” and “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go,” was honored with three Brit Awards during his career — two for best British male and one for best British album.
Adele performed a tribute to Michael at this year’s Grammy Awards.
Watch Martin’s performance below: