Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation
Top

Pop giant George Michael dies aged 53

george michael.jpg

George Michael, who launched his career with Wham! in the 1980s and became one of Britain’s most successful and iconic solo artists, has died.

In a statement, the star'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.”


Read more: Six people diagnosed with a terminal illness reveal what’s really important


Michael, born Georgios Kyriacos Panayiotou, sold more than 100 million albums throughout a career spanning almost four decades.

His most famous songs include Faith, Last Christmas, and Club Tropicana.

The pop legend's death sent shockwaves across social media, with fans and celebrity friends alike taking to Twitter to pay homage to the singer.

Elton John’s tribute was among the most moving.

Sharing a photograph of himself alongside his friend and musical collaborator (the pair released the song Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me in November 1991), he wrote: “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 all of his fans.”

Michael’s former Wham! bandmate Andrew Ridgeley said that he was “heartbroken by the loss of my friend”, adding that he would be “4ever loved”.

Elle DeGeneres wrote: “I just heard about my friend George Michael’s death. He was such a brilliant talent. I’m so sad.”

James Corden added: “George Michael wrote Praying for Time 25 years ago but I truly believe its message means more now than ever.”

Gloria Gaynor posted: “So sorry to hear of the passing of George Michael. My prayers and condolences go out to his family, friends and fans.”

DJ Tony Blackburn tweeted: “Unbelievable, George Michael has died at the age of 53. RIP.This dreadful year goes on and on.So sad, a real talent.”

And comedian Ricky Gervais added: “Unbelievable. RIP George Michael.”

Politicians joined the tributes. Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn highlighted Michael’s role as a tireless advocate of LGBT rights.

“Sad to hear that George Michael has died. He was an exceptional artist and a strong supporter of LGBT and workers' rights," he wrote.

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said: “Very sad to hear the news about George Michael. An incredible talent who brought joy to millions of us with his music.”

Nicola Sturgeon, the First Minister of Scotland, said: “This is just too awful. Such an amazing talent gone too soon. Wham was part of the soundtrack to my teenage years.”


Read more: Farewell poetry and readings to remember loved ones by


Singer and stage actress Pixie Lott said: “Grew up listening to the beautiful and talented George Michael — my mama’s favourite! was a pleasure to meet him so sad to hear the news.”

“George Michael was a kind and gentle soul,” noted Ryan Reynolds.

LeAnn Rimes addressed the so-called ‘2016 curse’ in her own message, which read: “No No No No No! We have lost too many beautiful souls this year.”

Fellow pop star La Roux said: “Another one gone.... What a voice, what a songwriter.”

And Duran Duran, who rose to fame at the same time as Michael in the 1980s, wrote: “2016 — loss of another talented soul. All our love and sympathy to George Michael’s family.”

Police attended Michael’s home in Oxfordshire at around lunchtime on 25 December, Christmas day. They said that the singer’s death was being treated as “unexplained but not suspicious”. Michael’s manager said that he died from heart failure.

More

Oscar-nominated director accused of sexual harassment by 31 women

“He told me he'd love nothing more than to masturbate while looking into my eyes”

by Susan Devaney
23 Oct 2017

Rebecca Black on the “intense nastiness” and abuse of her early fame

She was just 13 years old when her music video went viral

by Nicola Colyer
23 Oct 2017

Chrissy Teigen is a Clueless fangirl just like the rest of us

She did what we’d all do

by Susan Devaney
23 Oct 2017

Bridget Jones star Sarah Solemani: women need protection in auditions

The Bad Education actor recalls being asked to act out intimate scenes

by Amy Swales
23 Oct 2017

Kate Hudson on the unique harassment faced by women in Hollywood

“It feels horrible. It’s degrading. It’s dismissive. So much needs to change”

by Moya Crockett
23 Oct 2017

Jennifer Aniston reveals the £18 secret behind her iconic hair

And it's extremely low-effort

by Kayleigh Dray
23 Oct 2017

This is why Paloma Faith has never revealed her baby’s name

She welcomed her first child in December 2016, but has chosen not to publicise its name or sex

by Kayleigh Dray
23 Oct 2017

This massive star was very nearly in Hocus Pocus

Oh sisters, how very different things could have been

by Nicola Colyer
20 Oct 2017

Quentin Tarantino on not doing more to stop Harvey Weinstein

“I knew enough to do more than I did”

by Nicola Colyer
20 Oct 2017

Lupita Nyong’o says she was harassed by Harvey Weinstein as a student

“He told me not to be so naïve. If I wanted to be an actress, then I had to be willing to do this sort of thing.”

by Moya Crockett
20 Oct 2017