Famed British singer, songwriter and producer George Michael has passed away at the age of 53.
Michael (seen above performing at the closing ceremonies of the 2012 London Olympics) sold over 100 million records, counting his work with Wham! and his work as a solo performer, and released successful studio albums across four different decades. His publicist confirmed his death in a statement Sunday. Here’s more on that from the BBC:
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.
…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 (born Georgios Kyriacos Panayiotou) formed Wham! in 1981 with Andrew Ridgeley, and the duo had huge hits from 1981-86, including “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go” and “Last Christmas,” which has gained so much traction as a holiday favourite that even MLB teams got in on it this year. Michael also had massive hits as a solo artist, including 1984’s “Careless Whisper,” 1987’s “Faith,” 1990’s “Praying For Time” and “Freedom! ’90,” and 2000’s “If I Told You That.” He’s been referenced in all sorts of popular culture since then, including in this Goldbergs episode, and he’ll be sadly missed by fans, and by much of the music world. Here are a few clips of some of his work:
Rest in peace, George.