George Michael died peacefully at his home over the Christmas holidays, according to the BBC. Ambulance Service was called to a property in Oxfordshire, England, just before 2 p.m in the afternoon on Christmas Day. The police says there are no suspicious circumstances involved.
“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 “Freedom” singer’s publicist said in a statement. “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 legend left an incredible legacy on Billboard’s charts – both as a solo artist and as one-half of the duo Wham! He sold well over 100 million albums globally, earned numerous Grammy and American Music Awards, and recorded duets with Aretha Franklin, Ray Charles, Luciano Pavarotti and Elton John among others.
In 2004, the Radio Academy named Michael the most played artist on British radio during the period 1984–2004. The documentary A Different Story, released in 2005, covered his career and personal life. In 2006, Michael announced his first tour in 15 years, the worldwide 25 Live tour, spanning three individual tours over the course of three years (2006, 2007 and 2008). In 2016, Michael announced a second documentary on his life entitled Freedom, set to be released in March 2017.
“I have lost a beloved friend – the kindest, most generous soul and a brilliant artist,” Elton John wrote on Instagram.
Many of Michael’s fans are listening with sadness to one of his famous Wham! songs, Last Christmas.
I just heard about my friend @GeorgeMichael's death. He was such a brilliant talent. I'm so sad.
— Ellen DeGeneres (@TheEllenShow) December 25, 2016