The singer died unexpectedly on Christmas Day
Last night, the news of George Michael's death hit the world after it was reported that the 53-year-old singer 'passed away peacefully at home' in Goring, Oxfordshire.
George Michael's family announced the news of his death in a statement issued through his publicist, Michael Lippman, that read:
'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 family would ask that their privacy be respected at this difficult and emotional time. There will be no further comment at this stage.'
Having launched his stellar career back in the 1980s with pop duo Wham!, George Michael was loved by many across the globe. Former Wham! bandmate, and schoolfriend, Andrew Ridgeley, said he was 'heartbroken at the loss of my beloved friend'.
As Wham!, the pair reached number one four times, and their 1984 song Last Christmas remains one of the most enduring Christmas songs out there, and is even currently in the UK singles chart as number 16.
Elton John has paid tribute saying: 'I am in deep shock. I have lost a beloved friend - the kindest, most generous soul and a brilliant artist.'
Carpool Karaoke talkshow host James Corden also tweeted: 'I've loved George Michael for as long as I can remember. 'George Michael wrote Praying for Time 25 years ago but I truly believe its message means more now than ever.'
The north London-born singer sold more than 100 million albums throughout his career that spanned almost 40 years, and his music and charismatic personality touched the hearts of many. Everyone from Ryan Reynolds, to Whoopi Goldberg and Ellen Degeneres have paid tribute to the star on their Twitter feeds, and Boxing Day is sure to be filled with many more to come.
Rest in peace, George Michael.
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