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UPDATE: George Michael dies aged 53

Sophie Vokes-Dudgeon
Sophie Vokes-DudgeonHead of Digital
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UPDATE: George Michael's manager Michael Lippman has confirmed that the much-loved singer died of a heart attack.

"I'm devastated," Lippman told The Hollywood Reporter. George's manager explained that he received a call on Christmas day to tell him the singer had been found "in bed, lying peacefully" and that there was "no foul play whatsoever."

He added that George's death by heart failure was unexpected. Funeral plans will be announced shortly, he added.

ORIGINAL STORY: George Michael has died at the age of 53, his publicist has announced. The former Wham singer "passed away peacefully at home" on Christmas day.

Thames Valley police said South Central Ambulance Service attended a property in Goring in Oxfordshire at 13:42 on 25 December. The police report there were no suspicious circumstances connected with his death.

"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," his publicist told HELLO! in a statement. "The family would ask that their privacy be respected at this difficult and emotional time. There will be no further comment at this stage."

George was born Georgious Kyriacos Panayiotou in North London in 1963. He sold more than 100 million albums throughout his career which spanned almost four decades. His song Last Christmas was one of his former band's most well-known classic hits, and a special part of the festive seasons for millions around the world.


George and his Wham! bandmate, Andrew Ridgeley, disbanded their hit partnership in 1986. After the band split, Andrew moved to Cornwall to live the quiet life with his then girlfriend, Bananarama singer Keren Woodward.

In 1987 George began work on his debut album, Faith, for which he wrote and produced all of the songs. The album was a huge success and the singer embarked on his first solo tour in 1988. A year later, at the 1989 Grammy Awards, he won Best Album of the Year.

Over the following years the star began to shy away from the limelight, and has spoken publicly of his struggles to come out as gay, something he did not do until 1998. In 1994, after a period away from the public eye, George returned with a performance at the 1994 MTV Europe Music Awards where he sang a Jesus to a Child, dedicated to his partner who had died the previous year.

The singer has suffered with addiction and illness - in 2011 he had to cancel his tour due to a viral infection which left him with pneumonia in an intensive care unit, and in 2013 he was airlifted to hospital following a car accident. A patron of the Elton John AIDS Foundation, George has often released music with the proceeds going to charities, and in 2014 he released Symphonica - which went on to become his seventh number one album in the UK. He was was planning to release a documentary in 2017.

We will follow this sad story with updates as more information becomes available.

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