Wham! were a British pop music group that rose to fame in 1982. Formed in London, the duo included George Michael and Andrew Ridgeley, who drew upon musical influences in funk and soul, and styled themselves as peers to the disaffected Generation X youth. Their second studio album Make It Big debut in 1984 and was a global smash hit, topping the charts in both the UK and the United States. MTV fueled the frenzy and brought Wham! to popularity as part of the Second British Invasion with music videos for“Everything She Wants” and“Careless Whisper.”
The band’s first number one single“Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go” was accompanied by a music video of the duo wearing“CHOOSE LIFE” logo tees designed by British fashionista Katharine Hamnett, who said it was a commentary on war and the threat of nuclear conflict. It became a Gen X closet staple, although it later years it was co-opted by the anti-abortion lobby. Hamnett and Michael have both said repeatedly the slogan was never intended to be“pro-life” – it was always meant to bring light to the AIDS epidemic and suffering of those impacted by war.
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