Written by: Matt Sloan
George Michael, the wildly charismatic pop singer who enjoyed success as a solo artist as well as with the band Wham! has died.
The London-born musician was 53.
Michael’s longtime manager Michael Lippman did indicate that Michael’s death was due to heart failure.
While details are few, Michael’s publicist did issue this statement: “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.”
Meanwhile, The Thames Valley Police referred to Michael’s death as “unexplained but not suspicious,” and sent the Hollywood Reporter this statement: “Thames Valley Police were called to a property in Goring-on-Thames shortly before 2pm 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. 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.”
Michael, who’s real name was Gerogios Kyriacos Panayiotou, is one of the biggest pop singers of the last 35 years.
Stereo Embers’ Editor Alex Green said of Michael: “Aside from having one of the purest and most powerful voices in popular music, I can’t think of anyone who radiated such charisma, such theatrical ease…such talent.”
With over 100 million albums sold in his career and a new album in the works, Michael’s death has shocked the entertainment world, with everyone from Ricky Gervais to Queen’s Brian May tweeting their tributes.
Duran Duran wrote: “2016 – loss of another talented soul. All our love and sympathy to @georgemichael’s family.”
Elton John: “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 his fans.”
And Frankie Goes To Hollywood’s Holly Johnson and James Corden also tweeted tributes:
Sad to hear the news about George Michael , and so many great singers and songwriters we lost this year.
— HOLLY JOHNSON (@TheHollyJohnson) December 26, 2016
I've loved George Michael for as long as I can remember. He was an absolute inspiration. Always ahead of his time.
— James Corden (@JKCorden) December 25, 2016