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Elton John, Madonna lead celebrity tributes to George Michael

Emmy Griffiths

Following the shocking death of George Michael, who passed away on Christmas Day aged 53, friends, colleagues and fans of the former Wham! band member have taken to social media to pay tribute to the iconic star.

His publicist confirmed the sad news on Sunday in a statement to HELLO! which read: "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." Elton John, a long-time friend and collaborator of the star, posted a snap of the pair of them together on Instagram. He captioned the photo: "I am in deep shock. I have lost a beloved friend - the kindest, most generous soul and a brilliant artist. My heart goes out to his family, friends and all of his fans."

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Elton posted a tribute to George 

Madonna shared a video of herself giving Michael an MTV award back in 1989, and captioned the video: "Farewell My Friend! Another Great Artist leaves us," before cursing 2016. British stars including Matt Lucas, Duncan Bannatyne and Pixie Lott also took to social media to pay homage to the star. Matt tweeted: "Well 2016, you had to just take one more, didn't you?" while Duncan added: "George Michael has now been taken by the curse of 2016. Please make him the last. RIP."

Politicians also sent out tributes to the late 53-year-old, with Mayor of London Sadiq Khan writing: "Very sad to hear the news about George Michael. An incredible talent who brought joy to millions of us with his music," while Nicola Sturgeon added: "This is just too awful. Such an amazing talent gone too soon. Wham was part of the soundtrack to my teenage years."