RIP George Michael…
— TIME (@TIME) December 26, 2016
The star, who launched his career with Wham! in the 1980s and had huge success as a solo performer, “passed away peacefully” on Christmas Day in Goring, Oxfordshire, his publicist said.
The performer died of heart failure, according to his longtime manager.
George Michael has died of heart failure, according to the singer’s longtime manager Michael Lippman.
The English singer, songwriter and record producer who rose to fame with the group Wham! in the 1980s was found on Christmas morning, says Lippman.
“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,” his rep said in a statement to the BBC. “The family would ask that their privacy be respected at this difficult and emotional time. There will be no further comment at this stage.” –Hollywood Reporter
Former Wham! bandmate Andrew Ridgeley said he was “heartbroken at the loss of my beloved friend”.
Michael’s family announced news of his death in a statement issued through the singer’s publicist.
“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,” it 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.”
South Central Ambulance Service had been called to Michael’s property at 13:42 GMT.
Thames Valley Police said its officers also attended and Michael was confirmed dead at the scene.
His talents as a singer, songwriter and music producer made George Michael one of the world’s biggest-selling artists.
Blessed with good looks and a fine singing voice, his stage presence made him a favourite on the live concert circuit as he matured from teen idol to long term stardom.
But there were times when his battle with drugs and encounters with the police made lurid headlines that threatened to eclipse his musical talents.
Here is George Michael performing one of his most popular songs, “Careless Whisper”:
Here is one of our personal favorites, “Faith”:
Michael later began facing headlines for the wrong reasons.
In October 2006 he pleaded guilty to driving while unfit through drugs, and in 2008 was cautioned for possession of class A drugs, including crack cocaine.
In September 2010, Michael received an eight-week prison sentence following an incident in which he crashed his Range Rover into a shop in north London. He admitted driving under the influence of drugs and possessing cannabis. –BBc
George Michael appeared in concert with Elton John to perform Elton John’s hit song, “Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me”: