George Michael, who achieved global fame with hits such as “Faith” and “Freedom ’90,” has died at age 53, reportedly of heart failure.
Michael’s career began with the duo “Wham!” in the 1980s, creating hits like “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go,” and “Last Christmas” and continued into the ’90s after he launched his debut chart-topping solo album “Faith” in 1987.
The superstar, who in his prime was a world-famous sex symbol, was found dead in his home in Oxfordshire, southeast England, according to his publicist and police.
His longtime manager Michael Lippman told the U.K. Press Association and The Hollywood Reporter that Michael died of heart failure “in bed, lying peacefully.”
Authorities said the singer’s death was being classified as “unexplained but not suspicious.”
A statement from Michael’s publicist on Christmas confirmed his death.
“It is with great sadness that we can confirm our beloved son, brother and friend George passed away peacefully at home over the Christmas period,” the statement said.
“The family would ask that their privacy be respected at this difficult and emotional time. There will be no further comment at this stage.”
Outside of Michael’s home, fans gathered Monday to lay flowers and candles in his honor. Singers shared their condolences and memories of him.
“Farewell My Friend! Another Great Artist leaves us,” tweeted Madonna.
“Having worked with him on a number of occasions his great talent always shone through and his self deprecating sense of humour made the experience even more pleasurable”, said Paul McCartney on his website.
“I have lost a beloved friend — the kindest, most generous soul and a brilliant artist,” singer Elton John wrote on Instagram.