Wham! and George Michael bassist Deon Estus has died aged 65

"Deon was passionate about music and loved interacting with his loyal fans"

Deon Estus, the longtime bass player for Wham! and George Michael, has died aged 65, it has been confirmed.

Estus passed away yesterday (October 11), and news was confirmed on the musician’s official Twitter page. No cause of death has yet been revealed.

“It is with real sadness I post that Deon Estus passed away this morning,” the post read. “Deon was mostly known as the third member of Wham! Deon was passionate about music and loved interacting with his loyal fans.”

Estus’ partner Brenda Kaye Pearce paid tribute to the bassist on Facebook (via Billboard), writing: “My dearest, closest partner and significant other of 4 years transitioned and all I can remember is our last conversation the day before. My heart will need time to heal. R.I.P. Deon. Love you forever.”

Most famous for playing with Wham! and George Michael, Estus also co-wrote the hit 1989 song ‘Heaven Help Me’ with Michael, which went on to be a Top Five hit in the United States. It appeared on his sole studio album, ‘Spell’.

Elsewhere in his career, Estus played bass for a number of world famous stars including Elton John, Marvin Gaye, Tina Turner, Annie Lennox and Frank Zappa.

Since news of his death was shared, tributes have come pouring in on social media. Wham! backing singer and Pepsi & Shirlie member Shirlie Kemp wrote: “Shocked to hear the passing of such a lovely man. Spent so many years with Deon touring with Wham. God Bless..RIP.”

New Orleans funk DJ Soul Sister added: “RIP to soulful pioneer Deon Estus. Many know him as the integral, vet bassist w/Wham and George Michael. I know him as the killer young bassist with Brainstorm (3rd from right) in ‘78 & ‘79. In recent years, he was a beloved added member of the reunited Switch. May he rest well.”

In late 2018, Estus was part of a tribute concert to mark the late George Michael’s 56th birthday.

Reflecting on Michael’s death on Christmas Day 2016 in an interview with Billboard at the time, Estus said: “I’m still in shock. It hasn’t quite hit me yet, but it helps to talk about it and to think about all those fantastic tours, all those records, all the people he’s helped and all the things he’s done, which is a lot. I was blessed to have known him.”

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