Singer who first made his name as half of pop group Wham! before going on to solo success died peacefully at home over the Christmas period.
Andrew Ridgeley and Sir Elton John have led tributes to pop superstar George Michael, who has died at his home in Oxfordshire at the age of 53.
Michael’s former Wham! bandmate wrote on Twitter that he was “heartbroken by the loss of my friend” who would be “4ever loved”. John, another friend and collaborator, wrote on Instagram of his “deep shock” at the loss of “the kindest, most generous soul and a brilliant artist”.
Live George Michael: pop star dies peacefully at his home aged 53 – live reaction
Wham! star and solo artist famous for hits including Last Christmas, Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go and Careless Whisper sold more than 100m albums
Michael “passed away peacefully” at home, according to his publicist. His manager Michael Lippman said the singer had died from heart failure in bed.
Michael, who was set to release a documentary in 2017, rose to fame as half 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.