Pop superstar George Michael has died peacefully at home, his publicist said.
The 53-year-old, who was set to release a documentary in 2017, rose to fame as a member of Wham!, known for their hits Club Tropicana and Last Christmas. He had a highly successful solo career which included the songs Careless Whisper, Faith, Outside and Freedom! ’90.
Michael – who was born Georgios Kyriacos Panayiotou – had 11 UK number ones and sold more than 100 million albums throughout a career spanning almost four decades. His most recent album, Symphonica, was released in 2014.
Thames Valley police told the BBC an ambulance attended the house in Goring, Oxfordshire, at 1.42pm.They said the death was being treated as “unexplained but not suspicious” and they would not comment further until after a postmortem.
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’s manager Michael Lippman said he died from heart failure and was found “in bed, lying peacefully.” His publicist Cindi Berger said he had not been ill.
On Twitter, Andrew Ridgeley, Michael’s partner in Wham!, said he was “heartbroken at the loss of my beloved friend”.