Tuesday, December 27, 2016

George Michael dead at 53

George Michael has died at the age of 53.

The Wham! frontman "passed away peacefully”, in his sleep on 25 December (16) at his Oxfordshire, England home, his publicist has confirmed. 

"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 statement reads. 

"The family would ask that their privacy be respected at this difficult and emotional time. There will be no further comment at this stage."

According to the BBC, Thames Valley Police confirmed South Central Ambulance Service attended a property in Goring in Oxfordshire at 13:42 on Sunday (25Dec). 

The cause of death has not been disclosed, but police say there were no suspicious circumstances. 

Grammy Award winner George found fame in the ‘80s with pop group Wham, before embarking on a successful solo career and sold more than 100m albums during almost four decades. 

Twitter tributes have been pouring in, with Duran Duran's account posting: "2016 - loss of another talented soul. All our love and sympathy to @GeorgeMichael's family."

George Michael was born Georgious Panayiotou in London on 23 June 1963. He has been ill for the past five years which lead to the cancellation of his 2011 Symphonica tour which was scheduled to come to Australia.

George also had a long history of drug abuse and at one time served four weeks in prison for driving under the influence of drugs.

Despite his personal demons, George Michael was one of the greatest pop stars of a generation.

George first rose to fame as a member of pop duo Wham! with Andrew Ridgeley. Their first hit ‘Young Guns (Got For It) was an immediate global smash.

Then came ‘Wham Rap’, ‘Bad Boys’, ‘Club Tropicana’, ‘Wake Me Up Before You Go Go’, ‘Careless Whisper’, ‘Freedom’, ‘Everything She Wants’, ‘Last Christmas’, ‘I’m Your Man’, ‘The Edge of Heaven’ and ‘Where Did Your Heart Go’.

The Wham chart cycle delivered 13 hits in four years.

Wham split in 1986 with their last show on 28 June 1986 in London. They never reformed.

George released his first solo album ‘Faith’ in 1987. It made him a global superstar. However, he was not as prolific in his solo years as his four year with Wham. George released only five solo albums including the covers record ‘Songs From The Last Century’ but still, every album was a hit.

George’s final album ‘Patience’ was released in 2004.

In later years he was arrested for drugs and driving offences and twice banned from driving. 

Michael’s death prompted an outpouring of emotional tributes with musicians, celebrities and politicians posting their memories of Michael on social media.