Pop artist George Michael is dead.
According to his publicist, the singer passed away at his home on Christmas Day. He was 53 years old.
Several artists are paying tribute to the late Michael. Elton John took to Instagram to share his grief.
“I am in deep shock,” John writes. “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.”
In the 1980s, Michael and Andrew Ridgeley shot to fame as the pop duo Wham. The group have 25 million records and 12 million singles. They split in 1986 after five years together. While Ridgeley would leave the industry, Michael’s next act would soon begin.
Michael chose to launch a solo act with the Faith album, because he sought a grown-up image. In 1987, the title song hit the US charts at number one. To date, Faith has sales of over 25 million.
For many fans, Michael is known for his upbeat pop sound. His career covers three decades and several hit songs. These include “Freedom”, “Careless Whisper”, and “Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me.”
Ridgely took to Twitter to pay respects to his friend. “Heartbroken at the loss of my beloved friend Yog,” he writes. “Me, his loved ones, his friends, the world of music, the world at large. 4ever loved.”
The man who helped shape British pop will be missed.