Music fans are in mourning after news broke late on Christmas Day that George Michael had died at his home, aged 53.
Thames Valley Police stated that South Central Ambulance Service attended the singer’s property in Goring, Oxfordshire, at 1:42pm on 25 December. A police spokesman added: “Sadly, a 53-year-old man was confirmed deceased at the scene. At this stage the death is being treated as unexplained but not suspicious. A post mortem will be undertaken in due course. There will be no further updates from Thames Valley Police until the post-mortem has taken place.”
The star’s manager Michael Lippman said that Michael had died of heart failure.
A statement from George’s family added: “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.”
Referring to George by his family nickname of ‘Yog’, former Wham! bandmate Andrew Ridgeley wrote on Twitter: “Heartbroken at the loss of my beloved friend Yog. Me, his loved ones, his friends, the world of music, the world at large. 4ever loved. Axx”.
Tributes have flooded in from around the world including Sir Elton John who posted a photo of himself with Michael with the words: “I am in deep shock. I have lost a beloved friend – the kindest, most generous soul and a brilliant artist. My heart goes out to his family and all of his fans.”
Madonna took to social media to post a video of her presenting George Michael with an award, adding: “Farewell my friend. Another great artist leaves us.”
Duran Duran added on Twitter: “Loss of another talented soul. All our love and sympathy to George Michael’s family.”
Michael sold more than 100 million records in his career and was reportedly working on a new album with producer Naughty Boy. A BBC retrospective documentary entitled Freedom – narrated by Michael himself – was scheduled to be broadcast in March.
As a member of Wham! Michael scored four No.1 singles – the band’s classic Last Christmas was in the Top 20 at the time of the singer’s death.