George Michael’s family marked the anniversary of his death with a heartfelt message

"Take a moment, raise a glass, enjoy his music and think of him fondly..."

The family of George Michael have shared a heartfelt message with fans on the one-year anniversary of his death.

The iconic singer-songwriter passed away on Christmas Day in 2016. His cause of death was later revealed to be a form of heart disease, inflammation of the heart, and fatty liver.

His family began a message posted on the singer’s official website by thanking fans for taking a reissue of his ‘Listen Without Prejudice’ album to Number One in October.

They then urged his fans to take a moment to toast the singer, whom friends and family called “Yog”, over the Christmas holidays.

They wrote: “Yog, who loved Christmas, and always hoped it would snow… would want each of you that admired and loved him, (yes—he knows you did!!) to take a moment, raise a glass, enjoy his music and think of him fondly, making sure to enjoy your time with, and appreciate your family and friends.”

“As we all know Christmas is not always easy, life isn’t perfect, and families are complicated…” George Michael’s family continued. “Yog shared his music with all of us, and many of you connected deeply with his words, yet in life, many hold their own important words and feelings inside, as so often they are the hardest to say out loud. So if you can, in his memory this year, take a moment and a deep breath and say those ‘I Love You’s’ out loud. We all think there is time, don’t we? – but, just maybe, it’s later than you think…”

Read the full message here.

In the run-up to Christmas, fans launched a campaign to get Wham!’s ‘Last Christmas’ to Number One in tribute to George Michael. However, Ed Sheeran’s ‘Perfect’ would eventually claim this year’s Christmas Number One spot.