British singer George Michael, who rose to fame with the band Wham! has died aged 53, his publicist said.
The statement from his 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 singer had sold more than 100 million albums in his career spanning over four decades.
According to BBC, the Thames Valley Police were treating the death as unexplained but there were no suspicious circumstances.
Former Wham! bandmate Andrew Ridgeley said he was “heartbroken at the loss of my beloved friend”.
He wrote on his Twitter page, “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”
Sir Elton John posted the following message on instagram.
“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 was lately in news for all sorts of wrong reasons.
He had pleaded guilty in October 2006 for driving under the influence of drugs. Two years later, he was cautioned for possessing class A drugs, including crack cocaine.
In September 2010, Michael received an eight-week prison sentence following an incident in which he crashed his Range Rover into a shop in north London. Once again, he confessed to driving even while unfit due to drugs overdose.