Singer-songwriter George Michael, who sold tens of millions of albums as a member of the duo Wham! and on his own, was found dead on Sunday at his home in Oxfordshire, England. His manager, Michael Lippman, said the singer had died from heart failure in bed.
Police are describing the death as “unexplained but not suspicious”. He was 53.
A police statement said: “Thames Valley Police were called to a property in Goring-on-Thames shortly before 2 p.m. Christmas Day. 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.”
Michael, who was set to release a documentary in 2017, rose to fame as half of Wham!, known for their hits Club Tropicana and Last Christmas. He had a highly successful solo career that included the songs Careless Whisper, Faith, Outside and Freedom! 90.
Michael – who was born Georgios Kyriacos Panayiotou – had 11 UK No 1s and sold more than 100m albums during a career spanning almost four decades. His last album, Symphonica, was released in 2014.
In a statement, the star’s publicist said: “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.”
Michael’s death prompted an outpouring of emotional tributes with musicians, celebrities and politicians posting their memories of Michael on social media.