The 53-year-old singer was found dead at his home in Oxfordshire, England, in December 2016. Picture: Reuters

George Michael played Cupid for Pepsi and Shirlie singer Shirlie Holliman and Spandau Ballet star back in the 1980s, and the pair have since been married for 30 years after getting together because of the 'Careless Whisper' hitmaker.

Shirlie Holliman will forever be grateful to George Michael for playing matchmaker between her and her husband Martin Kemp.

Pop icon George - who died in bed last Christmas Day - set up his Wham! backing singer with the Spandau Ballet bass guitarist in the 1980s after discovering the pair "fancied" one another, and nearly 30 years later the couple are still married and have two children, radio DJ son Roman, 24, and daughter Harley, 28.

Shirlie - who went on to perform as Pepsi and Shirley with fellow Wham! backing singer Helen 'Pepsi' DeMacque - was too nervous to make the first move on Martin so George took matters into his own hands.

Martin Kemp and Shirlie Holliman. Picture: Supplied/Bang Showbiz


Recalling how George played cupid for the couple - who wed in 1988 - she told ITV's 'This Morning': "I did fancy Martin, as many girls did. We bumped into him one night and he gave me his number. I had that for a few weeks. George kept asking me, 'Are you going to call him, are you going to call him?' And I was at his house and he went into his sister's bedroom, and picked up the phone and dialed the number."

Shirlie, 55, admitted she was "so nervous" when George made her take the phone and talk to Martin, also now 55, but they pair immediately hit it off.

She added: "He just passed it to me. I'd never rung a boy in my life! I was so nervous. But when Martin answered he just said, 'I've been waiting for you to call.' We've been married for 30 years next year."

She added: "We were lucky to have him in our lives."

Pepsi and Shirlie worked with George for many years in Wham! and the pair are still struggling to come to terms with his shock death.

Pepsi confessed: "I have fond memories, I still can't believe he's not with us. I'm still very tender about it, so I can't talk about it that much still. We miss him dearly."