On Air Now
Early Breakfast with James Stewart 4am - 6:30am
26 December 2016, 08:11 | Updated: 26 December 2016, 11:30
George Michael's publicist says singer has died peacefully at home in Oxfordshire on Christmas Day at the age of 53.
The 53-year-old rose to fame as a member of Wham!, known for their hits Club Tropicana and Last Christmas.
Michael - whose real name is Georgios Kyriacos Panayiotou - sold more than 100 million albums throughout a career spanning almost four decades.
He was set to release a documentary in 2017.
George Michael almost died in 2011 from pneumonia, he received treatment in a Vienna hospital after which he made a tearful appearance outside his London home.
He said it had been "touch and go" whether he lived.
Surgeons had performed a tracheotomy to keep his airways open and he was unconscious for some of his time in hospital.
Stars from the world of showbiz have paid tribute to the ``truly brilliant'' George Michael.
Pop stars from the former Wham! front man's heyday were joined by more contemporary names in declaring their sadness.
Martin Fry, lead singer and songwriter with Look Of Love band ABC, said on Twitter: ``Absolutely devastated to hear of the loss of @GeorgeMichael Truly brilliant talent #sad #sad #sad.''
Duran Duran referenced the so-called ``curse of 2016'' - which has seen the deaths of rock and pop behemoths David Bowie, Prince and Rick Parfitt, posted on their official Twitter account: ``2016 - loss of another talented soul. All our love and sympathy to @GeorgeMichael's family.''
This year's X Factor winner Matt Terry said: ``Noooooooooooooooo! I cannot believe this !!!! RIP George Michael''.
Matt Lucas, who worked with the singer during a sketch for BBC comedy Little Britain, said: ``Well 2016, you had to just take one more, didn't you?''
Entrepreneur and television personality Duncan Bannatyne said: ``George Michael has now been taken by the curse of 2016. Please make him the last. RIP.''
While former Radio One disc jockey Tony Blackburn said: ``Unbelievable, George Michael has died at the age of 53. RIP.This dreadful year goes on and on.So sad, a real talent.''
``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.''
Thames Valley Police, who are investigating the death of George Michael, said officers were called to a property in Goring-on-Thames, Oxfordshire, shortly before 2pm on Christmas Day:
``Sadly, a 53-year-old man was confirmed deceased at the scene. At this stage the death is being treated as unexplained but not suspicious.''
The following statement is published by Thames Valley Police on behalf of the family of George Michael:
“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."
The following statement is made by Thames Valley Police regarding the unexplained death: “Thames Valley Police were called to a property in Goring-on-Thames shortly before 2pm Christmas Day. Sadly, a 53-year-old man was confirmed deceased at the scene. At this stage the death is being treated as unexplained but not suspicious. A post mortem will be undertaken in due course. There will be no further updates from Thames Valley Police until the post mortem has taken place.”