Tributes are pouring in after pop star George Michael dies at age 53. Billboard reports that Michael’s longtime manager, Michael Lippman, said the cause of death was heart failure, though his publicist said he “passed away peacefully at home over the Christmas period.”
The Thames Valley police said that a 53-year-old man was confirmed deceased after they were called to a property in the early afternoon on Sunday. The police said in a statement, “At this stage the death is being treated as unexplained but not suspicious. A post mortem will be undertaken in due course. There will be no further updates from Thames Valley Police until the post mortem has taken place.”
Michael began his music career in the 1980s with British duo Wham! and later went on to become a solo performer. He won two Grammy Awards, including Album of the Year for Faith in 1989.
He sold roughly more than 100 million records during his career.
The Recording Academy issued a statement on George Michael’s death: “During an influential career that spanned nearly four decades, George became one of the most beloved pop craftsmen and respected entertainers. From the enormous success he achieved with pop duo Wham! to his influential solo career, his extraordinary talent had a profound impact on countless entertainers worldwide, and his creative contributions will live on forever.”
Michael’s co-star in Wham! Andrew Ridgeley also express sympathies:
Heartbroken at the loss of my beloved friend Yog. Me, his loved ones, his friends, the world of music, the world at large. 4ever loved. A xx https://t.co/OlGTm4D9O6
— Andrew Ridgeley (@ajridgeley) December 26, 2016
Tributes from Twitter:
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
RIP George Michael.
— Ricky Gervais (@rickygervais) December 25, 2016
Rest with the glittering stars, George Michael. You've found your Freedom, your Faith. It was your Last Christmas, and we shall miss you.
— George Takei (@GeorgeTakei) December 25, 2016
I've loved George Michael for as long as I can remember. He was an absolute inspiration. Always ahead of his time.
— James Corden (@JKCorden) December 25, 2016
Had the pleasure of knowing George Michael in the 80s. Voice of an angel. Now he can sing for them.
— Rob Lowe (@RobLowe) December 26, 2016
Another beautiful talent taken away. Rest in power @GeorgeMichael. 2016 is just brutal. ????
— Chaka Khan (@ChakaKhan) December 26, 2016