Netflix documentary WHAM! follows George Michael and Andrew Ridgeley from their early friendship to their meteoric rise as global superstars. Through an insightful combination of archive footage and interviews, this film captures key moments in WHAM’s history while also shining a light on those influential individuals who played an integral role in George and Andrew’s lives. Shirlie Holliman, Dee C. Lee, and Helen “Pepsi” DeMacque first joined WHAM as backup singers, although only briefly mentioned in the documentary. Readers have asked us for updates about them since then, so let’s delve further into what these talented individuals are currently involved with and give an update on their future endeavours!
Who Are Shirlie Holliman, Dee C Lee, and Helen “Pepsi” DeMacque?
Shirlie Holliman, Dee C. Lee, and Helen “Pepsi” DeMacque were three highly sought-after background singers during the 1980s in Britain. Pepsi joined forces with Shirlie and Dee as backup vocalists on WHAM singles such as “WHAM Rap,” “Young Guns,” and “Club Tropicana.” However, following “Club Tropicana,” Dee embarked on another musical path and joined the British band The Style Council.
Shirlie and Pepsi became key supporting vocalists on various international singles such as “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go,” “Freedom,” and “Last Christmas.” Her close bond with Andrew Ridgeley, and subsequent dating rumours, added an additional layer to their friendship – as did an intimate moment where George confided his sexuality to Andrew while Shirlie was present, further underscoring their deep bond. The documentary even revealed this intimate moment where George confessed his feelings for Shirlie. In contrast, George confided about his sexuality in front of George himself – further underscoring their shared relationship and its depth!
By 1985, George Michael had begun contemplating a solo career and desired to produce music suited to an older demographic. WHAM officially disbanded after their final performance at Wembley Stadium in 1986; its backup singers quickly reinvented themselves into Pepsi & Shirlie before venturing out solo careers themselves; together, they achieved several number-one singles that proved they could thrive independently.
Dee’s solo career also gained steam. Her 1984 release of “Selena Wow Wow,” to great acclaim; however, her 1985 effort “See The Day” truly catapulted her into prominence. Later, Dee joined Robert Howard’s musical duo Slam Slam where they continued exploring her artistic abilities together with publishing three more albums during this period, including her 1986 debut titled “Shrine”. Additionally, she provided background vocals for numerous critically acclaimed musical works.
Shirlie, Pepsi and Dee’s journey illustrates their resilience and adaptability in an ever-evolving music industry as they pursue their careers passionately and creatively.
Where Are Lee, Pepsi” and Shirlie Now?
After leaving WHAM to pursue her career with The Style Council, Dee C. Lee met musician Paul Weller whom she later married in 1987. Their initial meeting seemed amicable, with Dee providing support as Paul pursued his musical endeavours. They took great pride in raising Leah Weller, who later became an accomplished musician herself. Unfortunately, however, marital issues arose over time, leading to their separation in 1998. Following her departure from WHAM, Dee dabbled in acting and performed with Level 42 in London in 2009. Now living in England, Dee maintains solid and loving ties to her daughter and fellow WHAM alums such as Pepsi, Shirlie, and Andrew.
While Pepsi originally married James Crockett and moved from New Zealand to Norwich, England, for their marriage ceremony, they have since established an acclaimed charter sailing business on Saint Lucia despite geographical distance. Still close with Shirlie, Andrew, and others from WHAM days, she cherishes their memory while keeping George Michael’s spirit alive!
George Michael may have played an intriguing part in Shirlie and Martin Kemp’s romance; their romantic spark blossomed to result in their picturesque wedding ceremony in St. Lucia in 1988, and they are now proud parents to Harley Moon Kemp and Roman Kemp – who currently make appearances on reality shows like Celebrity Gogglebox – with Pepsi still remaining close with Andrew Ridgley to honour and remember George Michael even today.
Dee, Pepsi, Shirlie and Andrew remain close, evidence of the lasting friendships formed during their time at WHAM and George Michael’s immense impact on their lives.