WATCH: Singer George Michael Dead on Christmas Day at 53

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One of his greatest hits was his song, “Last Christmas,” and this was his last Christmas.

Singer George Michael has died aged 53, his publicist has said.

The star, who launched his career with Wham! in the 1980s and later continued his success as a solo performer, is said to have “passed away peacefully at home”.

Thames Valley Police said South Central Ambulance Service attended a property in Goring in Oxfordshire at 13:42 GMT.

Police say there were no suspicious circumstances.

Michael, who was born Georgios Kyriacos Panayiotou in north London, sold more than 100m albums throughout a career spanning almost four decades.

He first found fame with his schoolfriend Andrew Ridgeley in duo Wham! before going on to release solo albums, including the multi-million selling Faith and Listen Without Prejudice Vol. 1.

Earlier this month it was announced that producer and songwriter Naughty Boy was working with Michael on a new album.

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.”

In 2011, Michael postponed a series of concerts after being taken to hospital for treatment for pneumonia.

After treatment in a Vienna hospital, he made a tearful appearance outside his London home and said it had been “touch and go” whether he lived.

Doctors were said to have performed a tracheotomy to keep his airways open and he was unconscious for some of his spell in hospital.

His Wham! bandmate Andrew Ridgeley and close friend Elton John have lead the tributes to the star on social media.

Posting on Twitter, musician Ridgeley wrote: ‘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. A xx’

While John posted a heartfelt message along with a picture of the pair together on his Instagram page.

He wrote: ‘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. @GeorgeMichael #RIP.’

Pictures were taken of George Michael dining with friends at an Oxfordshire restaurant in September this year. This is believed to be the last time the musician was photographed.
Pictures were taken of George Michael dining with friends at an Oxfordshire restaurant in September this year. This is believed to be the last time the musician was photographed.

 

George Michael, who died on Christmas Day, is seen at a restaurant with friends in this September 2016 photograph.
George Michael, who died on Christmas Day, is seen at a restaurant with friends in this September 2016 photograph.

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SOURCE: BBC