George Michael dies, aged 53

The former Wham! singer passed away at home on Christmas Day

George Michael has died aged 53, his publicist has confirmed.

The pop star “passed away peacefully at home” earlier today (December 25). He died of heart failure and was found on Christmas morning, according to his longtime manager, Michael Lippman, The Hollywood Reporter.

Thames Valley Police said South Central Ambulance Service attended a property in Goring, Oxfordshire at 1:42pm, according to BBC News. Police said in a statement: “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.”

In a statement, Michael’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.”

The London-born singer, whose birth name was Georgios Kyriacos Panayiotou, began his career in the ’80s with Wham! before eventually going onto find more success as a solo artist.

He sold more than 100 million albums throughout his career and had been recently reported to be working on a new album with Naughty Boy.

Tributes have already begun flooding in for the singer, with Duran Duran tweeting: “2016 – loss of another talented soul. All our love and sympathy to ‘s family.”

His Wham! bandmate Andrew Ridgeley posted: “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”.

His friend and collaborator Elton John added: “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.”

Queen’s Brian May tweeted: “George ? George Michael ? No … it cannot be. Beyond sad.”

Ricky Gervais wrote: “Unbelievable. RIP George Michael.” Comedian Tim Vine added: “Oh no. GEORGE MICHAEL. An amazing songwriter with a genuinely beautiful voice. Different corner one of my favourite songs.”