Singer George Michael Dead At 53

In a year that has claimed the lives of some of the most prolific and visible musical talents of more than one generation, including Prince and David Bowie, it is morbidly fitting that the man who gave us "Last Christmas", George Michael, passed away on Christmas Day, "peacefully at home" according to his publicist.

As the BBC first reported, the star, who launched his career with Wham in the 1980s and later continued his success as a solo performer, is said to have "passed away peacefully at home".

Thames Valley Police said South Central Ambulance Service attended a property in Goring in Oxfordshire at 13:42 GMT. Police say there were no suspicious circumstances.

The cause of death has not been revealed.

Michael, who was born Georgios Kyriacos Panayiotou in north London, sold more than 100m albums throughout a career spanning almost four decades.

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."

Michael nearly died from pneumonia in late 2011. He received treatment in a Vienna hospital after which he made a tearful appearance outside his London home.

He said it had been "touch and go" whether he lived. Surgeons had performed a tracheotomy to keep his airways open and he was unconscious for some of his time in hospital.

Michael's 1990 album Listen Without Prejudice Vol. 1 had been set to be reissued.

It was due to be accompanied by a new film featuring Stevie Wonder, Elton John and the supermodels who starred in the video to his hit single Freedom! '90.

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Together with so many other greats who passed away in 2016, we thank George for the memories.