Singer George Michael Dead At 53
December 26, 2016 at 9:12 PM (PT)
Singer GEORGE MICHAEL has died aged 53, the BBC reports. Police believe that he "passed away peacefully at home;" of apparent heart failure.
MICHAEL's publicist released the following statement: "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."
WARNER/CHAPPELL MUSIC Chairman & CEO JON PLATT commented, "We are all deeply saddened to hear that GEORGE MICHAEL has passed away. Our heartfelt condolences go out to his family and his friends.
"We join millions of fans in mourning the untimely passing of this towering talent. He was the epitome of the consummate pop star, a singer/songwriter who enthralled the world, always keeping us guessing where his music would take us next.
"After the global phenomenon of WHAM!, GEORGE transformed himself and his art, emerging as a solo superstar who then tirelessly broke new ground and set higher standards. He was an artist in every sense - a soulful vocalist, an unforgettable performer and, above all, a uniquely gifted songwriter. From pop tunes to dance anthems, from confessional ballads to social commentary, he perfected almost every kind of song, creating too many timeless hits to mention. His music will entertain, move, comfort and inspire people for generations to come.
"We will miss you. Rest In Peace, GEORGE."
Added SONY MUSIC ENTERTAINMENT: "GEORGE MICHAEL was a supremely gifted artist and a true music icon. SONY MUSIC had the privilege to have worked with him over several decades on a number of his legendary releases, and we join the world in mourning the loss of a great superstar. Our condolences go out to his family during this difficult time."
Born GEORGIOS KYRIACOS PANAYIOTOU in NORTH LONDON, MICHAELS sold more than 100 million albums throughout a career spanning almost four decades, from his early days as part of the duo WHAM! to a successful solo career. He had seven #1 singles in the U.K., won three BRIT AWARDS and two GRAMMYS.
In 2011, MICHAEL postponed a series of concerts after being taken to VIENNA hospital for treatment for pneumonia. Doctors reportedly performed a tracheotomy to keep his airways open and he was unconscious for a certain amount of time there.
Earlier this month, it was announced that MICHAEL would soon begin working on a new album with producer/songwriter NAUGHTY BOY. What's more, a documentary film entitled Freedom was also due for release next MARCH.